J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) said it plans to close between 130 and 140 of its stores in the next few months as it reported a quarterly decline in same-store sales Feb. 24.

The stores account for 13 to 14 percent of J.C. Penney’s current store portfolio, but together they only draw five percent of annual sales. J.C. Penney will also close two distribution centers in Florida and California to "help align the company's brick-and-mortar presence with its omnichannel network" by allowing it to focus on maintaining a high brand standard, the company said in a press release. The stores targeted for closure either require significant capital to raise them to the new brand standard, or they are significantly less cash-flow positive than other locations. (See also, Retail Empire Strikes Back with Omnichannel Strategies)

"We must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth," J.C. Penney CEO Marvin R. Ellison said in a statement. "During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company's growth initiatives ... generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment."

J.C. Penney said it is offering voluntary early retirement packages for 6,000 employees, more than the number of employees who will be affected by the closures. (See also, Why J.C. Penney Just Sold Its Headquarters)

"We can expect to see a net increase in hiring as the number of full-time associates expected to take advantage of the early retirement incentive will far exceed the number of full-time positions affected by the store closures," Ellison said in a statement. (See also, This Surprising Demographic Saved J.C. Penney)

On Feb. 24, J.C. Penney reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.64 per share, above the Street view of $0.61 per share and greater than the $0.39 per share in 2015 fourth quarter earnings. Revenue was $3.96 billion, below the analyst consensus of $3.98 billion and down from $4 billion in revenue a year prior. Same-store sales declined 0.7 percent, more than the 0.3 percent the Street expected.

J.C. Penney shares were down as much as 10 percent Feb. 24, marking a new 52-week low of $6.18. 

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