J.C. Penney has announced that it will close 33 under performing stores across the country and laying off 2,000 employees in an effort to save $65 million.
The closings and layoffs were announced on its website on January 15. In that statement, CEO Mike E. Ullman said, “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,” said chief executive officer of JCP, in the release.
According to the statement, the remaining inventory in those 33 stores will be sold over the next several months, with final store closings expected by early May.
The store closings and layoffs might explain the reason why JCP made no mention of sales numbers or percentages in a recent holiday release. A few weeks ago JCP released a rather coded 2013 holiday sales brief which stated the company was “pleased with its performance for the holiday period, showing continued progress in its turnaround efforts. Customers responded well to the Company’s offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online.”
“While it’s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position J.C. Penney for future success,” Ullman said.
While JCP is addressing its strategic priority to improve profits, it is continuing plans to open a new store location later this year in Brooklyn, N.Y.