J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Wet Seal to close stores

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 355 views 

The retail sector from top to bottom continues to shed its brick and mortar stores as four retailers announce streamlining efforts in recent days. J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Wet Seal lead those efforts.

The turnaround story for J.C. Penney is still being written as the department store chain focuses on closing 4% of its stores just as it reports a 3.7% rise in holiday sales.

Penney said 39 mall-based stores in 19 states will close by early April. None of those affected stores were located in Arkansas. The shuttering of these underperforming stores include the lay off of 2,250 workers.

"We continually evaluate our store portfolio to determine whether there's a need to close or relocate underperforming stores,'' said Penney media relations manager Sarah Holland. "Reviews such as these are essential in meeting our long-term goals for future company growth. While it's never an easy decision to close stores, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision."

Macy’s announced a restructuring and the closure of 14 stores along with two or three layoffs at its remaining 830 Macy’s and Bloomingdale locations in its effort to move faster to where the shoppers can be found.

"Our business is rapidly evolving in response to changes in the way customers are shopping across stores, desktops, tablets and smartphones. We must continue to invest in our business to focus on where the customer is headed – to prepare for what's next," Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said.

Macy's, reported same-store November rose in November / December sales rose 2.7%.

Teen retailer Wet Seal announced earlier this week that it could close 338 stores and eliminate 3,700 jobs as it seeks to avoid bankruptcy. This purge will leave Wet Seal with 173 stores and its online business.

"Our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores," CEO Ed Thomas said in a statement. "This was a very difficult decision to make."

Wet Seal locations in Fayetteville and Hot Springs were closed this week. The store at Park Plaza Mall in Little Rock told The City Wire that it was not impacted by the closures. It is the only remaining Wet Seal in the state.