J.C. Penney plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers. The company said Friday that it would shutter 13 percent to 14 percent of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base. In a related move, J.C. Penney said it would offer a "voluntary early retirement program" to about 6,000 workers, including corporate, store and supply chain workers.
Total Retail's Take: We knew this was coming — J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said in January that the company would be closing some of its 1,000-plus store locations — and now it's official with today's announcement. Like other traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, particularly mall-based brands, J.C. Penney is struggling with declining store traffic. While it's a difficult decision considering the potential job losses that come with store closures, it's a necessity in today's retail environment. Brands just can't afford to keep open unprofitable stores.