Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

But not Bluffs: JC Penney announces 4 Iowa stores to close

But not Bluffs: JC Penney announces 4 Iowa stores to close

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

Officials with the Texas-based J-C Penney Company are announcing the closure of 138 stores, including four in Iowa.

The closings will leave J.C. Penney with a total of about 900 stores.

According to a company release issued Friday on its website, the closings are "a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability". The liquidation process will begin on April 17, but most stores will cease operations in June.

Sales at Penney's stores which have been open for more than a year fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter which ended January 28, a bigger drop than the 0.5 percent decrease analysts predicted.

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"We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers", Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officers of JC Penny said in a February 24 statement.

The closings are just the latest signs that traditional, brick and mortar homes are struggling to compete with online retailers like Amazon. The retailer will continue to operate almost 900 stores. The company had about 105,000 full and part-time employees previous year.

"Due to the increased vacancy inside the mall, it was no longer economically viable to continue to operate the property as an enclosed mall", Cornett said.

"Thanks to the loyalty of the customers in the area, we're remaining open and we're adding departments in our store as we speak", said Cory Bufalini, manager of the Calcutta store.

"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.

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