FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 file photo, shoppers visit a J.C. Penney store in New York. J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a 78 percent drop in its third-quarter earnings Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, because of a big expense to fund its pension plan. The company announced on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, that it will be closing between 130 and 140 stores by the end of the second quarter of 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
J.C. Penney will be closing 130-140 stores in the coming months, the company reported Friday.
"We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers," Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison said in a statement.
The company also announce it would launch a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees.
In addition to the retail stores, the company says it will also close two distribution facilities.
J.C. Penney said it expected annual savings of about $200 million from the cost-cutting measures. A list of the stores to be closed will be released in March, the statement said, after the company notifies its employees. All the stores should be closed in the second quarter of 2017.