J.C. Penney to close 13 to 14 percent of stores

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NEW YORK (AP) - J.C. Penney says it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping.

The closures, announced Friday, represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the company's current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales.

The company said that it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees.

The news came as Penney posted a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss a year ago. But total sales were down 0.9 percent from a year ago and revenue at stores opened at least a year was down 0.7 percent.

Like other department stores, J.C. Penney is trying to adjust to changing shopping patterns. But it is also still recovering from a catastrophic reinvention plan under a former CEO that sent sales and profits freefalling starting in 2012.

Since then, it has focused efforts on its home area, started selling major appliances again and expanded its number of in-store Sephora beauty shops.



 
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