J.C. Penney announces the closing of 33 ‘underperforming’ stores

The shutdowns will result in 2,000 cut positions and $65 million in estimated savings. The store chain’s approach to communicating the cuts was just-the-facts.

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These actions are expected to result in an annual cost savings of approximately $65 million, beginning in 2014. In connection with this initiative, the Company expects to incur estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in future periods.

The release isn’t particularly sympathetic toward employees who are losing jobs, nor is it overtly optimistic. It’s clinical, like a doctor offering options to a severely ill patient. It quotes company CEO Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III:

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. 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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