JCPenney Announces More Store Closures, Shutting Call Center in Kansas

January 20, 2020 Updated: January 20, 2020
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JCPenney announced it will close down six stores and a call center, affecting hundreds of jobs, the retailer confirmed.

Brooke Buchanan, senior vice president of communications, confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that the decision is part of the storied retailer’s yearly review of around 850 stores and other operations.

“This decision is the result of a careful and ongoing review of our store portfolio,” said Buchanan. “It’s never easy to close a store; however, we feel this is a necessary business decision.”

The chain said the six locations will shutter by April 24, including a location in the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York; Tulsa Promenade in Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Hills Shopping Center in Raleigh, North Carolina; Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, Ohio; Myrtle Beach Mall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Southgate Mall in Missoula, Montana, according to the Morning news.

A call center in Lenexa, Kansas, will close in “order to centralize call center operations and deliver streamlined service to our customers,” she told Business Insider, which reported that such a move would cut about 243 jobs. “The Lenexa supply chain facility is not affected by this action and will remain in operation,” Buchanan said.

Last year, JCPenney said it would close down 18 of its department stores and nine of its furniture-only stores across the United States.

Earlier in January, the Texas-based firm reported that comparable sales decreased by 7.5 percent during the nine-week holiday season that stretches from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Other retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s posted lower sales numbers as well.

The United States lost a significant amount of brick-and-mortar stores and household names in 2019, with a report from Coresight Research saying that more than 9,300 locations were shuttered. Bankrupt discount shoe company Payless ShoeSource closed its remaining stores in June, amounting for the majority of the closures with more than 2,000.

At the same time, the report found that Fred’s shut down 564, Ascena Retail shut down 781, Gymboree shut down 740, Sears closed down 210, and Charlotte Russe shut down 512. Twelve businesses had at least 200 locations shut down in 2019, the research organization said.

Gamestop, Gap, Foot Locker, Walgreens, Destination Maternity, GNC, Bed Bad & Beyond, Victoria’s Secret, CVS, Big Lots, Office Depot, Pier 1 Imports, Rent-a-Center, and Abercrombie & Fitch all saw dozens of their stores shutter, it added.

Almost 4,400 new stores opened last year, including 1,000 new Dollar General locations. Dollar Tree also opened up around 350 and Family Dollar opened 200, the report said.

“Despite a very favorable consumer spending environment, department stores have yet to catch a break,” analyst Christinia Boni said in a research report, according to CNN.