J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Wednesday it will close 33 stores and cut 2,000 jobs as part of the struggling retailer's efforts to return to profit.
The 33 stores set for closure include 2 in Illinois and one in Greater Chicago. The J.C. Penney in Bloomingdale at Stratford Square Mall and the location in Forsyth, at Hickory Point Mall, are on the list.
Chief Executive Myron Ullman in a statement called the move an important step that “addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores.”
Penney, which operates about 1,100 mid-market department stores in the United States, is trying to stanch enormous losses and win back shoppers after suffering a 25 percent drop in sales in fiscal 2012 during a failed attempt to go upmarket.
It has returned to the discounts that were long its hallmark and brought back popular in-house brands.
Sales started ticking up in the autumn after nearly two years of monthly sales drops but remain well below fiscal 2011 levels. A press release last week with scant details on its December sales results raised concerns that the turnaround stalled during the key holiday season.