Midland JC Penney to close, along with 6 other MI stores

Two J.C. Penney (JCP) stores are closing in Arkansas as part of a company plan announced last month to optimize its national retail operations for a successful return to profitability. Stores in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Brookings were not on the list of closures.

The company continues to operate about 900 stores nationwide and had about 105,000 full and part-time employees previous year. All told, between Sears, Macy's, Kmart and JC Penney's, about 300 department stores will close in 2017 across the country.

The J.C. Penney Company Inc. has over 1,000 store locations and over 100,000 JCPenney associates worldwide.

To offset employee displacement, the corporation is offering early retirement incentives to approximately 6,000 eligible associates.

The company said yesterday that liquidation sales at the stores being shut down would begin April 17 and the locations will be completely shut down in June.

J.C. Penney, a fixture at the Center Township mall since 1998, is one of three anchor stores - in addition to Boscov's and Dick's Sporting Goods - remaining there.

In January of this year, Sears Holding, the parent company of Sears and Kmart stores, announced a round of closings, but as with JCPenney, the Sears at Georgia Square escaped that fate. RadioShack declared bankruptcy last week for the second time in two years and is closing all of its stores.

The cuts represent about 14% of Penney's overall store portfolio that produces about 5% of its total annual sales.

It's been tough going for retailers the past few years, first with the recession and now with increased competition from online merchants like Amazon.

Some business experts were expecting Penney's to close the store at Collin Creek Mall in Plano.

The closest location that will be closing is in the Clearfield Mall.