J.C. Penney to shut up to 140 stores amid department-store slump

J.C. Penney Co. plans to close as many as 140 stores and trim about 6,000 jobs through early retirement, becoming the latest department-store chain making a bold move to adjust to a world of lower mall traffic and fierce online competition.The closings represent...

J.C. Penney to shut up to 140 stores amid department-store slump

J.C. Penney Co. plans to close as many as 140 stores and trim about 6,000 jobs through early retirement, becoming the latest department-store chain making a bold move to adjust to a world of lower mall traffic and fierce online competition.

The closings represent as much as 14 percent of company's store base and less than 5 percent of total sales, Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney said Friday. The moves, which also include shutting two distribution centers, will save about $200 million a year.

J.C. Penney's plan echoes rival Macy's Inc.'s announcement last year that it would shut about 100 of its stores to adjust to a world where consumers increasingly prefer shopping online to visiting malls. Sales at J.C. Penney, which is still working to recover from a disastrous attempted reinvention, are less than half of their 2002 peak.

The shares rose 1.5 percent to $6.96 at 7:18 a.m. in early trading in New York. J.C. Penney had been down 17 percent this year through yesterday's close.

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