J.C. Penney plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department-store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers.
“It became apparent to us that our footprint was too large,” Penney CEO Marvin Ellison told investors Friday, and the closures will “allow us to raise the overall brand standard of J.C. Penney” and invest in remaining stores. A list of Penney stores to close will be released in mid-March, and liquidation sales are expected to take place.
“This is just a market correction,’’ Farla Efros, president of HRC Retail Advisory, said in an interview. “There were too many stores, and too many retailers and too much noise in the market.’’
The retailer stated it would offer a “voluntary early retirement program” to about 6,000 workers, including corporate, store and supply chain workers.