J.C. Penney will keep all 11 South Florida stores open, close 138 others

JCPenney store at Aventura Mall
JCPenney store at Aventura Mall

J.C. Penney Company will close 138 stores nationwide but will continue to operate all 11 of its South Florida stores.

Two Florida stores in Jacksonville and Palatka are among the 138 stores that Penney will close. The retailer also will close a distribution facility in Lakeland in Central Florida.

Most of the stores Penney is closing “will begin the liquidation process on April  17,” the company announced Friday.

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The store closings, which will affect about 5,000 employees, are part of a broader effort by Penney to compete more effectively against online competitors.

Penney has five stores in Miami-Dade County, four in Broward County and two in Palm Beach County, according to the company’s website.

The company expects to record an pre-tax charge of about $225 million in connection with the store closings, mainly because of lease-termination expenses.