JC Penney stores to remain open

The closest locations slated for closing are in the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg and Bradford Towne Center in Towanda.

Liquidation of the affected stores will begin April 17 and 5,000 jobs will be cut or otherwise affected.

On Friday, the company announced that 138 stores will be closed.

It once shared a building with a grocery store that closed years ago.

"In 2016, we achieved our $1 billion (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) target and delivered a net profit for the first time since 2010; however, we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth", said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney in the February 24 news release that originally announced the store closures.

The move is "part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability", the company said.

The closings will save J.C. Penney about $200 million and allow it to better compete online, company officials said in the prepared statement.

The closures include eight stores each in Texas and Minnesota and seven stores a piece in Pennsylvania, Illinois and MI.

"Even with a reduced store count, JC Penney is competitively positioned to deliver a differentiated department store model that meets the expectations of a digital world with an inspiring, tangible shopping environment", Ellison stated in the release.

Associates who will be impacted by the store and distribution center closures will receive separation benefits, which includes assistance identifying other opportunities and outplacement services, such as resume writing and interview preparation, the release states.

Large box department store retailers such as J.C. Penney continue to retrench in the face of tighter competition from retail specialty chains.

  • Todd Kelly