J.C. Penney Co. said that it will close about 40 stores this year and cut approximately 2,250 jobs, as it tries to improve its profitability.
Most of the stores, located in malls around the country, will close by April 4. The Plano, Texas, company currently runs about 1,060 stores.
The announcement Thursday comes two days after J.C. Penney reported a rise in sales during the critical holiday shopping season, an encouraging sign as the company tries to recover from a botched plan to reinvent itself under former CEO Ron Johnson. It has tapped a new CEO, former Home Depot executive Marvin Ellison, who will replace current CEO Mike Ullman in August. Ullman was rehired as CEO in April 2013 after retiring from the top job in 2011.
J.C. Penney said all employees at stores being closed will be offered career training classes, including help writing resumes and filling out applications. The company said that some employees are eligible to receive separation benefits.
Last January, the company announced plans to close about 33 stores and cut approximately 2,000 jobs.
J.C. Penney shares rose 4 cents to $7.93 in afternoon trading Thursday. Its shares are up about 7.5 percent versus a year ago.
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