JCPenney to close 1 in 7 stores, retire 6000 early

J.C. Penney officials say they expect to release a list of which stores are closing within the next few months.

Management at many area J.C. Penney locations could not be reached early Friday to verify the status of their stores.

The Plano, Texas-based retailer acknowledged the closings will have an impact on its employees but said it plans on offering early retirement to about 6,000 eligible workers.

Penney's has stores in both the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside and at the Hampshire Mall in Hadley.

The news was traveling fast Friday morning that the J. C. Penney Company, Inc. will shutter 100-140 stores around the country, but the general manager for the local department store is confident San Angelo will not be on that list. Billings lost four big-box retailers on the West End in 2016 alone: Kmart, Sports Authority, Hastings and Hancock Fabrics. In the year-ago quarter, the department store chain posted $3.99 billion in revenue and 39 cents per share in adjusted earnings.

The stores identified for closure, while 13 percent to 14 percent of the company's current portfolio, account for less than 5 percent of sales, the company said. There are there are at least 20 stores J.C. Penneys stores: Chico, Yuba City, Roseville, Woodland, Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Lodi, Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Modesto, Turlock, Fresno, Hanford, Merced, Los Banos, Selma, Visalia, Delano, and Bakersfield.

On a sour note, JCP said that comparable store sales (comps) fell 0.7% in the latest period.

About 6,000 employees will be offered early retirement as part of the closings.

Macy's has announced closing of 168 stores nationwide in the past two years.

Net sales of $3.961 billion, down 0.9% from $3.996 billion during the same time past year. Online sales have increased, but around 75 percent of e-commerce is still supported at the physical stores through same-day pickup, exchanges and returns, he said. Penney added those capabilities to its stores past year. More shoppers are spending online and avoiding malls.

  • Zachary Reyes