Nordstrom

J.C. Penney to shut 130-plus stores, offer early retirements

J.C. Penney is joining its department store rivals in pruning its store numbers in an era of online shopping.

Penney said Friday that it will close 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it tries to improve profitability. The company said that it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees.

The news came as Penney posted a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss a year ago. But total sales were down slightly, and a key revenue metric declined a bit as well. The company issued a conservative annual forecast, sending shares down 9 percent on Friday.

CEO Marvin...

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