JC Penney to close up to 140 stores, shed 6,000 workers



BUENA PARK — J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced today it is in the process of selling its distribution center in Buena Park, intends to close its distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, in June, and plans to shutter 130-140 stores in the coming months.

Acknowledging that many workers will be affected by the store closures, J.C. Penney also announced that it is initiating “a voluntary early retirement program for approximately 6,000 eligible associates” — far more than the number of full-time positions that will be affected by the store closures.

The realignment is part of a blueprint to bring about a “successful return to profitability,” said a statement issued at JC Penney headquarters in Plano, Texas, which the company said earlier this week it has sold for $353 million dollars, although it will lease back 65 percent.

The statement said J.C. Penney will close a distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, in early June and transfer the logistics functions it performs to a facility in Atlanta

“The company also is in the process of selling its supply chain facility in Buena Park, California, in an effort to monetize a lucrative real estate asset,” the statement added.

J.C. Penny Chairman and CEO Marvin R. Ellison noted that the company recorded a net profit last year for the first time since 2010 but added that “we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth.”

The statement said the stores it plans to close will be announced next month.


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