JCPenney closing stores in Wausau, Rhinelander - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

JCPenney closing stores in Wausau, Rhinelander

WAUSAU (WAOW) - JCPenney stores in Wausau and Rhinelander are among 33 stores the company said Wednesday it will close as it tries to turn around results.

The Wausau store was one of the original anchors when the Wausau Center Mall opened in 1983 in downtown Wausau, selling apparel and home furnishings.

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple called the news of the closure, expected by May, disappointing for the local economy. 

"You're always worried whenever a business closes, whether it's a clothing store or whether it's Wausau papers," said Mayor Tipple.

ackerland Plus sits right next to JCPenney in the Wausau mall. An employee there says this news is a disappointment.  

"It's an anchor store and it's going to affect traffic a little bit," said Tanner Jaglinski. 

And this all comes just days after two other stores in the Wausau mall announced they're closing their doors, too. Those are Hollister and Gap.  

"We're still optimistic, obviously there are other stores leaving but what we have here is going to stay for a while," said Jaglinski. 

Mayor Tipple is trying to stay optimistic too looking ahead to the mall's future. 

"There are plans in the works, it's just a matter of when they'll be executing them and we will be a partner with them," said Mayor Tipple.

Other stores in Wisconsin slated for closure are in Fond du Lac, Janesville and Rice Lake, the company said.

The news came after JCPenney earlier said it was pleased with holiday results but declined to give sales figures.

JCPenney said the store closings should save more than $65 million annually.

Remaining inventory in the affected stores will be sold over the next several months, with the final closing expected to be complete by early May,” the company said in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman said the closings are based on their "financial performance" as the company tries to "progress toward long-term profitable growth."

Penney operates about 1,100 stores and employs 116,000 workers.

JCPenny said stores will be closed in 20 states. With five stores being shuttered, Wisconsin had the most, followed by Pennsylvania with three.

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