No word on whether Houston-area JC Penneys will close

Andrew Cummings
February 25, 2017

It said the stores identified for closure are below-average performers or require significant capital to achieve the company's new brand standard focusing on personalized beauty offerings, special sizes, private brands and quality home goods and services.

"Closing a store is never an easy decision, especially given the local impact on valued employees and our most loyal shoppers", said Ellison. The department store chain said it is initiating a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees - far more than the number of full-time positions that will be affected by the store closures.

J. C. Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) early Friday posted better than expected fourth quarter profits, as it swung to its first full-year positive net income in seven years.

"We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers", Ellison said in the release.

The list of stores to close won't be announced until mid-March.

Two distribution centers, in Florida and California, also will close or be sold, the company said Friday. Almost all impacted stores are expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

According to the J.C. Penney website, the nearest store to Uniontown is in the Morgantown Mall, approximately 22 miles away.

The retailer thinks that total store closures represented about 13 - 14 percent of its existing store portfolio.

Penneys shut down its Eastfield Mall store in 2011. The locations will be used more in the onmichannel experience, allowing customer to complete online order fulfillment, same-day pick up, exchanges, and returned, Ellison notes.

The usually lucrative holiday period proved troublesome for many retailers this year, with sales at Penney's established stores down 0.7 percent.

"We don't believe we would be on the list", Dennis Gilliam, senior property manager for the Macerich-owned malls, said. Net sales fell nearly 1 percent in 2016, although the company enjoyed net income of $192 million after having a net loss of $131 million two years ago.

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