JCPenney plans to close 18 department stores and 9 home and furniture stores. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY

JCPenney plans more store closures amid sales slump

J.C. Penney will close a total 27 of its 860 stores this year, a result of continuously dropping profits.

The closures will include the three previously announced department stores, 15 more full-line department stores and nine home and furniture stores, the company said in a statement today. Nearly all of the impacted stores are expected to close during the second quarter of 2019.

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Comparable sales at JCPenney fell 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, down a total 3.1 percent for the year. Net sales for the fourth quarter dropped 9.5 percent. The company’s net loss of $255 million far exceeded its $75 million net income for the quarter.

Net income was $242 million the same quarter of the previous year.

“In spite of our past financial performance, we have already taken meaningful steps to drive improvement in key businesses such as women’s apparel, active apparel, special sized apparel and fine jewelry,” said Jill Soltau, CEO of JCPenney.

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The stores set for closure require significant capital, don’t yield the profits of other stores or offer the company a way to make money on a real estate transaction, according to the statement. Employees impacted by closing stores will receive separation benefits including assistance in finding a new job and outplacemnet services.

The Dayton Daily News is working to learn what stores will close.

There are JCPenney stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Commons, Miami Valley Mall in Piqua, Bridgewater Falls in Fairfield Twp. and others in the Cincinnati area.

Other major retailers have closed big-box stores over the last year. In August, all local Elder-Beerman stores closed and all area Sears stores have already closed or will shutter by next month.

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