These are the 138 JC Penney stores that are about to close

Shoppers browse clothing at a JC Penney store in Queens, New York.

J.C. Penney has released the list of 138 stores it plans to close in an effort to cut costs and grow sales at its strongest locations.

The release comes a few weeks after Penney's said it would close up to 140 stores this year, following similar decisions from Macy's and Sears. Between the companies' four biggest chains, which include Sears' Kmart brand, more than 300 big-box stores will go dark this year alone.

The closures highlight the pressures on traditional department stores, which are losing market share to off-price competitors and Amazon. They also underscore the deteriorating economics at lower-quality shopping centers, whose risk of failure rises when an anchor tenant exits.

"We believe closing stores will allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers," J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement back in February.

The company said at that time that most of its closures would occur in the second quarter. Liquidations will start April 17, it said Friday.

Penney's expects to save roughly $200 million a year by exiting these locations, which contributed less than 5 percent of its annual sales. It plans to invest in its best stores and digital operations while whittling down $4.3 billion in long-term debt.

Roughly 5,000 jobs will be affected by the closures, Penney's said Friday. At the time of its initial announcement, the company said it would provide some 6,000 employees with a "voluntary early retirement program," depending on their age and tenure. Eligible employees have until March 31 to decide whether they will accept the package, a spokeswoman said.

In addition to that offer, Penney's said Friday that it is trying to relocate certain leaders and will provide outplacement support services for eligible workers.

The moves will result in a pretax charge of roughly $225 million in the first half of fiscal 2017.

In addition to its store closures, Penney's is shutting down one supply chain facility in Lakeland, Fla., and relocating another in Buena Park, Calif.

Wall Street is already speculating that more closures could be ahead. At a recent meeting with analysts in New York City, Penney's said it is testing the rollout of Sephora beauty shops and home appliances in its smaller stores. Those categories have been fueling sales growth at the company's bigger locations.

Cowen and Co. analyst Oliver Chen warned if the tests are not successful, Penney's may need to close additional stores in the future.

More closures are already expected at Macy's. The chain has so far announced just 68 of the 100 locations it plans to exit, and said last month that the remainder of those stores will go dark "over the next few years."

List of JC Penney upcoming store closures


Mall/Shopping Center   City                    State

Auburn Mall                 Auburn            AL

Tannehill Promenade Bessemer           AL

Gadsden Mall        Gadsden           AL

Jasper Mall                 Jasper          AL

Military Plaza        Benton          AR

Chickasaw Plaza        Blytheville          AR

Riverview Mall       Bullhead City    AZ

Downtown Bishop       Bishop                 CA

Sunwest Plaza        Lodi                 CA

The Village at Orange Orange         CA

Hilltop Mall                 Richmond         CA

Fort Morgan Main St. Fort Morgan   CO

Glenwood Springs Mall Glenwood Springs CO

St. Vrain Centre     Longmont          CO

Broadway Plaza          Sterling          CO

Connecticut Post Mall   Milford            CT

Jacksonville Regional Shopping Center Jacksonville   FL

Palatka Mall                        Palatka FL

Dublin Mall                   Dublin        GA

Macon Mall                   Macon       GA

Milledgeville Mall             Milledgeville GA

Gateway Plaza           Thomasville GA

Tifton Mall                   Tifton        GA

Downtown Decorah   Decorah         IA

Crossroads Mall           Fort Dodge IA

Penn Central Mall           Oskaloosa  IA

Quincy Place           Ottumwa         IA

Snake River Plaza           Burley         ID

Eastland Mall           Bloomington IL

Fulton Square           Canton       IL

Village Square Mall   Effingham         IL

Freestanding           Macomb         IL

Peru Mall Peru IL

Northland Mall Sterling IL

Centerpointe of Woodridge Woodridge IL

FairOaks Mall Columbus IN

Connersville Plaza Connersville IN

Huntington Plaza Huntington IN

Jasper Manor Center Jasper IN

Logansport Mall Logansport IN

Chanute Square Chanute KS

Downtown Great Bend Great Bend KS

Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson KS

Freestanding Lawrence KS

Winfield Plaza Winfield KS

Cortana Mall Baton Rouge LA

Park Terrace DeRidder LA

North Shore Square Slidell LA

Berkshire Mall Lanesborough MA

Easton Marketplace Easton MD

Rockland Plaza Rockland ME

Lakeview Square Mall Battle Creek MI

Delta Plaza Escanaba MI

Westshore Mall Holland MI

Copper Country Mall Houghton MI

Birchwood Mall Kingsford MI

Midland Mall Midland MI

Cascade Crossings Sault Ste. Marie MI

Central Lakes Crossing Baxter MN

Five Lakes Centre Fairmont MN

Faribo West Mall Faribault MN

Irongate Plaza Hibbing MN

Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson MN

Red Wing Mall Red Wing MN

Downtown Thief River Falls Thief River Falls MN

Freestanding Winona MN

Maryville Center Maryville MO

Leigh Mall Columbus MS

Southgate Plaza Corinth MS

Greenville Mall Greenville MS

Bonita Lakes Mall Meridian MS

Oxford Mall Oxford MS

Capital Hill Mall Helena MT

Sidney Main Street Sidney MT

Albemarle Crossing Albemarle NC

Boone Mall Boone NC

Eastridge Mall Gastonia NC

Blue Ridge Mall Hendersonville NC

Monroe Crossing Monroe NC

Becker Village Mall Roanoke Rapids NC

Prairie Hills Mall Dickinson ND

Buffalo Mall Jamestown ND

Downtown Wahpeton Wahpeton ND

Fremont Mall Fremont NE

Downtown McCook McCook NE

Platte River Mall North Platte NE

Rio Grande Plaza Rio Grande NJ

The Boulevard Las Vegas NV

Dunkirk-Fredonia Plaza Dunkirk NY

Westfield Sunrise Massapequa NY

Palisades Center West Nyack NY

Findlay Village Mall Findlay OH

New Towne Mall New Philadelphia OH

Richmond Town Square Richmond Heights OH

St. Mary's Square St. Marys OH

Altus Plaza Altus OK

Ne-Mar Shopping Center Claremore OK

Ponca Plaza Ponca City OK

Pioneer Square Shopping Center Stillwater OK

Astoria Downtown Astoria OR

Grants Pass Shopping Center Grants Pass OR

La Grande Downtown La Grande OR

Downtown Pendleton Pendleton OR

The Dalles Main Street The Dalles OR

Columbia Mall Bloomsburg PA

Clearfield Mall Clearfield PA

King of Prussia Mall King of Prussia PA

Philadelphia Mills Philadelphia PA

Bradford Towne Centre Towanda PA

Lycoming Mall Pennsdale PA

Willow Grove Park Willow Grove PA

Citadel Mall Charleston SC

Town 'N Country Easley SC

Palace Mall Mitchell SD

Northridge Plaza Pierre SD

Watertown Mall Watertown SD

Yankton Mall Yankton SD

Greeneville Commons Greeneville TN

Knoxville Center Knoxville TN

County Market Place Union City TN

Athens Village Shopping Center Athens TX

Borger Shopping Plaza Borger TX

Heartland Mall Early TX

El Paso Downtown El Paso TX

Marshall Mall Marshall TX

McAllen Downtown McAllen TX

University Mall Nacogdoches TX

King Plaza Shopping Center Seguin TX

Bosque River Center Stephenville TX

New River Valley Mall Christiansburg VA

Tanglewood Mall Roanoke VA

Pilchuck Landing Snohomish WA

Pine Tree Mall Marinette WI

Marshfield Mall Marshfield WI

Richland Square Shopping Center Richland Center WI

Rapids Mall Wisconsin Rapids WI

Foxcroft Towne Center Martinsburg WV

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Rob Myers
By Rob Myers 03/17/2017 04:57:00