J.C. Penney Closing 33 Stores, Laying Off 2,000

On Jan. 15, J.C. Penney announced it would close 33 underperforming stores by May and eliminate 2,000 positions, resulting in an annual cost savings of $65 million.

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” company CEO Myron E. (Mike) Ullman said in a statement.  

The department store hasn’t yet released its holiday sales results, except to issue a terse release in early January that said it was “pleased” and that “customers responded well” to its offerings. 

Executives also announced to Bloomberg.com that it was bringing back salesperson commissions—eliminated in 2012 under former CEO Ron Johnson.

The following closings were announced: Selma, Ala. (Selma Mall); Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Arrow Plaza Market); Colorado Springs, Colo. (Chapel Hills Mall); Meriden, Conn. (Westfield Meriden); Leesburg, Fla. (Lake Square Mall); Port Richey, Fla. (Gulf View Square); Muscatine, Iowa (Muscatine Mall); Bloomingdale, Ill. (Stratford Square Mall); Forsyth, lll. (Hickory Point Mall); Marion, Ind. (Five Points Mall); Warsaw, Ind. (Old Town Market Place); Salisbury, Md. (The Centre at Salisbury); Marquette, Mich. (Westwood Mall); Worthington, Minn. (Northland Mall); Gautier, Miss. (Singing River Mall); Natchez, Miss. (Natchez Mall); Butte, Mont. (Butte Plaza Mall); Cut Bank, Mont.; Kinston, N.C. (Vernon Park Mall); Burlington, N.J. (Burlington Center Mall); Phillipsburg, N.J. (Phillipsburg Mall); Wooster, Ohio (Wayne Towne Plaza); Exton, Penn. (Exton Square Mall); Hazleton, Penn. (Laurel Mall); Washington, Penn. (Washington Crown Center); Hixson, Tenn. (Northgate Mall); Bristol, Va. (Bristol Mall); Norfolk, Va. (Gallery at Military Circle); Fond du Lac, Wisc. (Forest Mall); Janesville, Wisc. (Janesville Mall); Rhinelander, Wisc. (Lincoln Plaza Center); Rice Lake, Wisc. (Cedar Mall); Wausau, Wisc. (Wausau Center).

The company does plan to open a new store this year at the Gateway II development in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Penney is not the only big department store to kick off the new year with a flurry of pink slips. On Jan. 9, Macy’s announced that it was laying off 2,500 employees.

JCK News Director