JCPenney closures spare UC stores

Cookeville store not on chopping block

UPPER CUMBERLAND – National retailer JCPenney announced this week that it will close 33 stores in 19 states. The news will not affect the chain’s two Upper Cumberland locations.

The JCPenney stores in Cookeville, at the Cookeville Mall, 400 Dubois Road, and in McMinnville, at the Three Star Mall, 1410 Sparta St., will not close, company officials said. The only store in Tennessee on the impact list is the one at Northgate Mall in Chattanooga. 

The closure of underperforming stores will result in the elimination about 2,000 jobs. Remaining inventory in the affected locations, which include five in Wisconsin, three in Pennsylvania and two in Virginia, will be sold over the next several months, with final closings expected to be complete by early May.

The company says the effort will save nearly $65 million a year, beginning in 2014. JCPenney has more than 1,100 stores in the U.S.

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III, chief executive officer of JCPenney, said in a release. “While it’s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success.”

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