Tallahassee Journal

J.C. Penney to shutter 40 stores, lay off up to 2,250

J.C. Penney to shutter 40 stores, lay off up to 2,250

Despite a better-than-expected holiday shopping season, it wasn’t enough to keep J.C. Penney JCP from shuttering 40 underperforming stores and laying off 2,250 workers.JC Penny Decided To Eliminate 2,000 Jobs

Penney said the mall-based stores in 19 states will close by early April. Word of the store closures – which represent about 4% of the middle-market chain’s stores – came days after Penney said holiday sales rose 3.7%.

“We continually evaluate our store portfolio to determine whether there’s a need to close or relocate underperforming stores,” said company media relations manager Sarah Holland. “Reviews such as these are essential in meeting our long-term goals for future company growth. While it’s never an easy decision to close stores, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision.”

Penney shares were trading up 1% to $7.97 Thursday. Sears, Staples, Macy’s and Coach announced store closures in 2014, but Penney and Wet Seal are among the lone retailers to announce post-holiday store closures so far this year. Wet Seal said Wednesday that its closing 338 stores and laying off 3,700 employees in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.