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The impact of J.C. Penney closing in Janesville

By: Michael Stevens Email
By: Michael Stevens Email

UPDATED: Thursday, January 16, 2014 --- 6:00 p.m.

Janesville --- Carol Friedl, is just one of the many people upset over J.C. Penny closing its doors.

"We have to come here to shop, or go to Madison, and I'm sad about this," said Friedl.

"I didn't know until they made the announcement yesterday," said Janesville Mall general manager, Julie Cubbage.

"I mean it's really no secret, J.C. Penney has been in the news for many months now, with the problems that they've been experiencing," said Cubbage.

Closing 33 under performing stores across the country, is the companies latest turnaround effort. Something the City of Janesville has been trying to do since GM left five years ago.

"We look at this as the sort of evolution of a retail user, and of retail uses in our community," said Ryan Garcia, with the City of Janesville.

"I think especially in Janesville we're seeing some new interest in maybe a different model then the 150,000 square foot department store square box," said Garcia.

The city says, while the closing is unfortunate, the biggest impact will be felt inside the store.

Employing nearly 70 people, J.C. Penny says in part, "Eligible associates who do not remain with the company will receive separation benefits."

While shoppers might have to wait for a new place to go. Cubbage says, it can be a good thing.

"I think for the most part, I think this is a positive thing, and something exciting can come out of it," said Cubbage.

The company in charge of the mall says other businesses have already showed interest in the space. But depending on what moves in, they say it could take up to 24 months before any doors open again.

Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2014 --- 4:07 p.m.

Department-store operator J.C. Penney says it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to turn around results.

The news comes after J.C. Penney earlier this month said it was pleased with holiday results but declined to give sales figures. A strong November and December is crucial to retailers since it can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales.

The cuts should save more than $65 million annually. The company will take $26 million in charges in the third quarter and $17 million afterward. Penney has 116,000 staffers. All the job cuts are related to the store closings.

Penney is trying to recover from a sales spiral that occurred under former CEO Ron Johnson. The company brought back former CEO Mike Ullman in April.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Additional information: 5 stores in Wisconsin are among those closing. They include stores in Janesville, Fond du Lac, Rhinelander, Rice Lake and Wausau.

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