On Friday, the retailer announced that in coming months it will close 130 to 140 stores, roughly 14 percent of its locations.
The company plans to offer early retirement packages to about 6,000 of its eligible employees, which it hopes will offset layoffs associated with the closings.
The decision comes as the company announced that its sales continue to decline.
The announcement came as Penney (JCP, -5.25%) reported a 0.7% decline in comparable sales for the holiday quarter, the third period out of four last fiscal year to see business soften. The results are a setback for a retailer that had been coming back from the brink after an ill fated attempt to be hipper in 2012.
Penney, which operates about 1,000 stores, had halted store closings last year, saying that its physical stores were essential to supporting its e-commerce, given that about one third of orders are shipped from, or picked up in a store. (Earlier this week, Kohl’s said it would shrink rather than close stores for that reason.)
The company hopes that it can boost sales numbers by making its remaining stores more appealing to customers.