J.C. Penney to shut 130-140 stores; quarterly sales drop

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  • Customers ride the escalator at a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

    Customers ride the escalator at a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2017)

  • Customers ride the escalator at a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

    Customers ride the escalator at a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Department store operator J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Friday it would close about 130-140 stores over the next few months, and reported a 0.7 percent drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter.

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The company will also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees and close two distribution facilities.

The stores being closed represent about 13-14 percent of the company's store base and account for less than 5 percent of annual sales, the company said on Friday.

J.C. Penney's net sales fell 0.9 percent to $3.96 billion in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, declining for the third time this year.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru,)