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Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 20, 201712:00 PM EST

J.C. Penney closing two Northeast Florida stories, 115 jobs lost


J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. announced Friday it would close stores at the Jacksonville Regional Shopping Center in Northwest Jacksonville and in the Palatka Mall.

The company said about 75 employees work at the Jacksonville store at 3000 Dunn Ave. and about 40 are at the Palatka location. Both stores are scheduled to close in mid-June.

A spokesman said the company will “go to great lengths” to relocate “esteemed leaders.” If possible, it will help employees identify other jobs in nearby J.C. Penney stores, he said.

Eligible associates who do not stay with the company will receive separation benefits, including an on-site career training class, he said.

That class will help employees with writing resumes, filling out applications, answering interview questions and more.

The two area stores are the only Florida locations among the 138 the Plano, Texas-based retail chain announced Friday it would close.

The company said about 5,000 positions nationwide will be affected by the closures.

Most stores will start to liquidate April 17 and close in June.

Also in Florida, J.C. Penney will close its Lakeland Logistics Center. The company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice with the state Wednesday that it will lay off 119 employees there between May 19 and Oct. 27.

No WARN notices were filed for the store closures as of Friday afternoon.

J.C. Penney continues to operate four Jacksonville area department stores in Regency Square Mall, The Avenues mall, Orange Park Mall and the Ponce de Leon Mall in St. Augustine.

J.C. Penney said the closures are part of its “continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability.”

When the company announced Feb. 24 it would close 130-140 stores, it had more than 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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