J.C. Penney announced plans today to shutter stores and reduce its work force in response to a sag in the department store business. USA Today reports that the company will close between 130 and 140 stores and will offer buyouts to 6,000 employees.
“The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base,” the story reports. “The cuts come amid mounting challenges for once-stalwart department-store chains such as Macy’s and Sears, which are also aggressively closing stores to shed costs as shoppers flock to alternatives.”
A list of the stores to be closed will be sent out in mid-March, with liquidation sales expected to take place by the second quarter, the report notes.
Speaking to investors, Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said today: “It became apparent to us that our footprint was too large.” He noted that the closures will “allow us to raise the overall brand standard of J.C. Penney” and invest in remaining stores.