Confirmed: JCPenney is closing up to 140 stores


Following announcements from struggling retailers Macy’s and Sears, JCPenney plans to close up to 140 locations across the country over the next few months.

In a news release, the company said it will also close two distribution facilities.

Read more: Is your local JCPenney closing? These locations are most likely to shut down​

JCPenney closing 140 locations: Here’s what we know

JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison said at a conference in early January that the department store chain would have to shut down some of its 1,000 stores, so this announcement was expected.

The store closures represent approximately 13% to 14% of the company’s portfolio and less than 5% of total annual sales.

‘We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers. Maintaining a large store base gives us a competitive advantage in the evolving retail landscape since our physical stores are a destination for personalized beauty offerings, a broad array of special sizes, affordable private brands and quality home goods and services. It is essential to retain those locations that present the best expression of the JCPenney brand and function as a seamless extension of the omnichannel experience through online order fulfillment, same-day pick up, exchanges and returns,’ Ellison said in a statement.

A full list of the 130 to 140 stores that will close this year is expected to be released in mid-March.

Meanwhile, JCPenney said it will shut down a distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, in early June. It will also sell a supply chain facility in Buena Park, California.

Employees impacted by the closures will receive separation benefits.

‘We understand that closing stores will impact the lives of many hard working associates, which is why we have decided to initiate a voluntary early retirement program for approximately 6,000 eligible associates. By coordinating the timing of these two events, we can expect to see a net increase in hiring as the number of full-time associates expected to take advantage of the early retirement incentive will far exceed the number of full-time positions affected by the store closures,’ Ellison said.


JCPenney also announced that it delivered a net profit in 2016 for the first time since 2010. 

Read more: These 9 retailers are closing more than 1,000 stores in 2017

The big picture

“Clark Smart” shoppers know to follow the deals, and that means using your smartphone to check prices wherever you shop, whether it’s in a physical store or online. 

If traditional retailers want to survive, they’ll have to be less traditional when it comes to pricing.

What’s interesting is that discount retailers T.J. MaxxMarshalls and Ross have continued to thrive, offering department store merchandise at a lower price point.

For many bargain shoppers, here’s the bottom line: Can I get this item for less on Amazon?

Read more: 12 things that are cheaper at T.J. Maxx than on Amazon

Clark’s take on Macy’s and Sears closings

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