J.C. Penney closing 33 stores; 1 in Minnesota, 5 in Wisconsin


J.C. Penney has announced that it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to cut expenses and get back to profitability.

In a statement, J.C. Penney says they intend to close their "underperforming stores across the country" in order to focus its resources on the company's highest potential growth opportunities.

The company will close just one store in Minnesota, that's in Worthington. It also intends to close five in Wisconsin including Fond Du Lac, Janesville, Rhinelander, Rice Lake and Wausau.

The company anticipates those actions will save around $65 million beginning this year. They expect the final closings to be complete by early May. The company says it will take $26 million in pretax charges in the third quarter and $17 million in future quarters.

According to the Associated Press, the news raises concerns that Penney's holiday sales were not what the company hoped for.

The AP says the company is trying to recover from massive losses and plummeting sales that occurred under former CEO Ron Johnson. He was ousted in April after just 17 months when the company brought back its former CEO Mike Ullman.

CNN Money reports investors were not impressed with the news. Shares of J.C. Penney slid 1.1 percent in after hours trading following the announcement on Wednesday. The company has seen its stock plummet 60 percent in the last 12 months, according to the CNN report.

J.C. Penney still has 116,000 employees and operates more than 1,100 stores.

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