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JC Penney to close up to 140 stores, lose thousands of jobs

JCPenney store sign
JCPenney store sign (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

PLANO, Texas — A rough week for retail ends with an announcement from JC Penney about the closure of 130 to 140 stores.

JC Penney currently has 14 stores in New Jersey, but there’s been no word yet on whether any of them would be among those to be shuttered.

The company said that while achieving its earnings-before-taxes goal for 2016 for the first time since 2010, “we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth,” CEO Marvin R. Ellison said in a statement about the closures.

The chain will release a list of exact locations in mid-March and close them by summer.

“We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers,” Ellison said, allowing them to better utilize their existing locations to control increasing distribution costs he said “pure e-commerce” are facing.

In an effort to lessen the impact of the closures Ellson said the chain will offer a voluntary early retirement program to approximately 6,000 eligible employees.

Macy’s announced plans to closed another 34 stores this year in addition to 66 stores it previously said would close, including locations in Moorestown, Voorhees, and the Preakness Shopping Center in Wayne. It has not identified the new locations that will close. Toys R Us, meanwhile, laid off 250 employees at its Wayne headquarters.

The parents company of Outback, Carrabba’s and Bonefish, Bloomin’ Brands, closed 43 restaurants across the country including five locations in New Jersey.

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