J.C. Penney to close Washington Mall store

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J.C. Penney Co. will close its Washington Mall store in Washington County as part of the department store chain’s ongoing turnaround efforts.

A total of 33 under-performing locations around the country, including the one in Washington Mall, are slated to be closed by early May, eliminating about 2,000 jobs, according to an announcement today from the Plano, Texas, retailer. Penney’s expects the closings to save about $65 million annually.

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to re-examine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” said CEO Myron E. “Mike” Ullman in the official announcement.

January is often the time of year that retailers look at their store portfolio and trim lower-performing stores. Macy’s last week announced plans to close five stores and Target said it would close eight locations. None of those was in the Pittsburgh region.

Last week, J.C. Penney said it was “pleased” with holiday sales results and that customers had responded well to its merchandise offerings, both in store and online. Penney’s has been working to get back on track for a while. Last year, the retailer gave up on its controversial CEO Ron Johnson and brought back Mr. Ullman following disappointing sales.

Teresa F. Lindeman: tlindeman@post-gazette.com or at 412-263-2018.

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