NEW YORK - J.C. Penney says it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping.
The closures, announced Friday, represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the company's current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales.
"We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers," stated Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer.
The retailer also announced that the distribution center in Lakeland will be closing -- the only location mentioned by name in the company's Friday morning press release. The company said it would announce the rest of the closing locations in mid-March.
"As a result of the store actions, JCPenney will close a distribution center located in Lakeland, Fla. in early June, at which time operations will transfer to the Company's logistics facility in Atlanta as part of a strategic effort to streamline store support services," the release continued.
The news came as Penney posted a profit in the fourth-quarter compared to a loss a year ago.
The company posted quarterly sales of $3.96 billion, down 0.9 percent from $3.99 billion a year ago.
Revenue at stores opened at least a year was down 0.7 percent.
J.C. Penney is joining other department stores like Macy's who are shrinking its footprint amid challenges in the industry.