JC Penney Store Closures Hit Close To Home
Altus is just one of the Oklahoma cities that will be affected by the closure of 138 of 1,014 JCPenney stores nationwide. After a final 2016 that saw a decrease in sales, the store closures, representing nearly 13% of the retailers national locations, were finalized in February and announced on Friday by J.C. Penney's corporate headquarters.
Altus, Claremore, Ponca City and Stillwater are the four Oklahoma JCPenney locations that will be affected by the closures, which will cut an estimated 6,000 jobs nationwide.
A short statement released by the chain's corporate offices explained the reason for the closures:
"As part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability, J. C. Penney Company, Inc. will be closing 138 stores, one supply chain facility in Lakeland, Fla., and relocating one supply chain facility in Buena Park, Calif., to align the Company’s physical store footprint and omnichannel network."
The statement went on to state that associates impacted by store and distribution center closures will receive separation benefits, which includes assistance identifying other employment opportunities and outplacement services such as resume writing and interview preparation.
The closures indicate a further change of direction for JCPenney. The company had a steady count of stores for close to 15 years, with a high water mark of 1,108 in 2009, with over 1,100 stores as recently as January of 2016. At the same time it making an attempt at changing client base, changing it focus by de-emphasizing women's clothing and turning its attention to home appliances, toys, beauty products and home goods. The company expects the store closings to save an estimated $200 million annually.
The company also states that liquidation sales at the closing location will begin as early as April. A full list of the closures can be found here.
Story courtesy of JCPenney, USA Today & The Lawton Constitution