Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

JC Penney announces closure of Decorah store, 137 others

JC Penney announces closure of Decorah store, 137 others

An executive with the company that owns the Auburn Mall, Jim Hull, says the decision reflects declining sales by J.C. Penney and isn't isolated to one place.

The closures include eight stores each in Texas and Minnesota and seven stores a piece in Pennsylvania, Illinois and MI.

However, the fate of the store in Marshalltown was not officially known until J.C. Penney released a list of the stores it plans to close, in a statement issued Friday.

JC Penney Corporation will begin liquidating its Houghton outlet on April 17 of this year, according to the corporation.

Heather Crowell, spokeswoman for Wyoming Valley Mall owner PREIT, said the report was "based purely on speculation" and didn't align with management's expectations for the JCPenney location. The store closings are expected to affect 5,000 employment positions nationwide, with Penney noting that it is identifying relocation opportunities for "esteemed leaders" and will provide outplacement services for associates leaving the company.

Large box department store retailers such as J.C. Penney continue to retrench in the face of tighter competition from retail specialty chains. However, Iowa stores in Decorah, Fort Dodge, Oskaloosa and Ottumwa will be closed, as well as a store at the Fremont Mall in Fremont, Nebraska.

Friday's action underscores the growing impact online retailers are having on brick-and-mortor retailers across the country. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015 and failed to find investors or a buyer for the company.

It once shared a building with a grocery store that closed years ago.

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