J.C. Penney to close 33 stores; none in Mass.

J.C. Penney announced on Wednesday that it would close 33 stores across the country, shedding 2,000 jobs as it struggles to stem losses from a troubled year and lower than hoped for sales.

The company said in a statement that the closings and resulting job cuts would result in a savings of about $65 million a year.

No stores in Massachusetts are among those slated to close, according to an online list provided by the company. A store in Meriden, Conn., is on the list.


One of the oldest retailers in the nation, J.C. Penney has undergone considerable management and investment trouble in the last year or so. It changed chief executives, bringing back a former chief executive, Myron E. Ullman III, and reverted back to an older retail strategy to try to lure back its most loyal customers.

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In Wednesday’s announcement, the company said it was closing what it determined were “underperforming” stores among its more than 1,000 locations.

Several major retailers have already lowered their profit forecasts, and reported that the holiday season’s sales were fairly static or represented just slight growth over the previous year.

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” Ullman said in a statement Wednesday. “While it’s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success.”

Penney said it expected pre-tax charges of approximately $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in future periods.