J.C. Penney To Close 13 To 14 Percent Of Stores

NEW YORK (KDKA) – J.C. Penney won’t say where, but it will close 130 to 140 stores and offer early retirement to 6,000 employees.

It’s part of an ongoing effort to save $200 million and become profitable.

“Now they are struggling because they’ve done everything they possibly can without cutting stores,” says Point Park University business professor Paige Beal.

“So what they’re trying to find is that sweet spot in between e-commerce and brick and mortar.”

Beal told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that on-line sales are doing well for J.C. Penney, but the store is looking for ways to bring customers into its stores.

“There are some things that are experiential in purchase nature in that people want to touch them. They want to feel them, and they like that shopping situation.”

In addition to closing stores, J.C. Penney says it will do a makeover of remaining stores.

At the Mall at Robinson, customers were asked what would they like to see in a new remade J.C. Penney.

“Adding more options such as appliances and things of that nature I think is a good start,” said Joe Steele of Bellaire.

In fact, appliances will be sold at the remaining 850 J.C. Penney stores.

“More athletic gear, more trendy girl type things,” said Ashley Morris of Moon.

The store is ditching its more formal women’s business clothing and opting for athletic and leisure wear more appealing to millennials.

“Maybe a little bit more bigger clothes because I’m a bigger girl,” added August Schweitzer of Aliquippa.

Look for more plus-size products.

In addition to adding toys, also watch for more salon and beauty products.

But one request is not likely.

“I’d like to see them bring the restaurants back into the stores,” said Ronald Mrenak of Crafton.

Sadly, long gone are the days of the Tic Toc at Kaufmann’s.

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