CLEARFIELD – The JCPenney store, located at the Clearfield Mall, is among the more than 130 stores that are slated for closure nationwide.
The list was released weeks after the company announced its intentions of closing up to 140 stores with comparable decisions being made by other retailers, such as Sears and Macy’s.
As part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability, JCPenney Co. 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.
Approximately 5,000 positions nationwide will be impacted by the store closures, most of which will occur in June. JCPenney is in the process of identifying relocation opportunities within the company for esteemed leaders.
Additionally, JCPenney will provide outplacement support services for those eligible associates who will be leaving the company. Most affected stores will begin the liquidation process on April 17.
“In 2016, we achieved our $1 billion EBITDA target and delivered a net profit for the first time since 2010; however, we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth,” said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney in a previous news release.
“During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company’s growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment.
“We believe the relevance of our brick and mortar portfolio will be driven by the implementation of these initiatives consistently to a larger percent of our stores. Therefore, our decision to close stores will allow us to raise the overall brand standard of the company and allocate capital more efficiently.”
Ellison said the company also believes closing stores will allow it to adjust its business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers.
“Maintaining a large store base gives us a competitive advantage in the evolving retail landscape since our physical stores are a destination for personalized beauty offerings, a broad array of special sizes, affordable private brands and quality home goods and services.”
“It is essential to retain those locations that present the best expression of the JCPenney brand and function as a seamless extension of the omnichannel experience through online order fulfillment, same-day pick up, exchanges and returns.”
Ellison continued, noting that: “While many pure play e-commerce companies are experiencing dramatically increasing fulfillment costs, we are pleased with the double digit growth of jcpenney.com and how leveraging our brick and mortar locations is enabling us to offset the last-mile delivery cost.
“We believe the future winners in retail will be the companies that can create a frictionless interaction between stores and e-commerce, while leveraging physical locations to minimize the growing operational costs of delivery.”
Ellison added that in 2016, approximately 75 percent of all online orders touched a physical store. He said even with a reduced store count, JCPenney is competitively positioned to deliver a differentiated department store model that meets the expectations of a digital world with an inspiring, tangible shopping environment.
The other six stores slated for closure in Pennsylvania are: at the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg, King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Philadelphia Mills, Philadelphia, Bradford Towne Centre, Towanda, Lycoming Mall, Pennsdale and Willow Grove Park, Willow Grove.
Click here to view the complete list of upcoming JCPenney store closures.