The JCPenney Company announced Friday they will close two distribution centers and approximately 130-140 stores over the next few months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping.
The distribution center in Lakeland is one of the two distribution centers that will close in early June. The other distribution center is located in California.
The closures, announced Friday, represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the company’s current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales.
The news came as Penney posted a profit in the fourth-quarter compared to a loss a year ago.
The company posted quarterly sales of $3.96 billion, down 0.9 percent from $3.99 billion a year ago.
Revenue at stores opened at least a year was down 0.7 percent.
J.C. Penney is joining other department stores like Macy’s who are shrinking its footprint amid challenges in the industry.
"In 2016, we achieved our $1 billion EBITDA target and delivered a net profit for the first time since 2010; however, we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth. During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the Company's growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment," said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney. "We believe the relevance of our brick and mortar portfolio will be driven by the implementation of these initiatives consistently to a larger percent of our stores. Therefore, our decision to close stores will allow us to raise the overall brand standard of the Company and allocate capital more efficiently."