Plano, Texas — Plano-based J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has announced plans to close two distribution facilities and approximately 130-140 stores over the next few months.
The company’s distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, will close in early June, at which time operations will transfer to a logistics facility in Atlanta. The company is also in the process of selling its supply chain facility in Buena Park, California.
The total store closures represent approximately 13 to 14 percent of the company’s current store portfolio. A full list of planned closures will be released in mid-March, pending notification of all affected personnel. Nearly all impacted stores are expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.
Associates who will be impacted by the store and distribution center closures will receive separation benefits, which include assistance identifying other employment opportunities and outplacement services such as resume writing and interview preparation.
“We understand that closing stores will impact the lives of many hard working associates, which is why we have decided to initiate a voluntary early retirement program for approximately 6,000 eligible associates,” says Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney. “By coordinating the timing of these two events, we can expect to see a net increase in hiring as the number of full-time associates expected to take advantage of the early retirement incentive will far exceed the number of full-time positions affected by the store closures.”
Eligibility for the Voluntary Early Retirement Program (VERP) will generally include home office, store and supply chain personnel who met certain criteria related to age and years of service as of January 31.