Penney store closing: Houghton 1 of 138 shuttered

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The former Martinsburg Mall - now Foxcroft Towne Center - is seen gutted out from the roadway Friday in Martinsburg.

Nine stores will close in Texas, the most of any state.

Liquidation sales at the 138 stores will start next month, and most of the stores will be shut by mid-June, the company said.

JCPenney will provide outplacement support services for eligible associates who will be leaving the company, according to the retailer.

J.C. Penney will be shutting down more 130 US stores, including three in the Philadelphia region.

Heather Crowell, spokeswoman for Wyoming Valley Mall owner PREIT, said the report was "based purely on speculation" and didn't align with management's expectations for the JCPenney location.

"Even with a reduced store count, JC Penney is competitively positioned to deliver a differentiated department store model that meets the expectations of a digital world with an inspiring, tangible shopping environment", Ellison stated in the release. The closings don't include the JCPenney Museum and Mother Store in Kemmerer and other locations around Wyoming.

The closings are just the latest signs that traditional, brick and mortar homes are struggling to compete with online retailers like Amazon. However, Iowa stores in Decorah, Fort Dodge, Oskaloosa and Ottumwa will be closed, as well as a store at the Fremont Mall in Fremont, Nebraska. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015 and failed to find investors or a buyer for the company.

In an effort to reduce costs and build sales, the corporation announced in February it would close up to 140 this year.

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