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J.C. Penney Plans to Close Seven Stores by Early April

Another day, another department store reveals a list of closures.

J.C. Penney said it plans to close seven of its 1,020 outposts in the next three months. Company spokeswoman Daphne Avila told The Dallas Morning News that the affected stores, representing less than 1 percent of its total base, are smaller in size and located in underperforming markets.

The news followed last Thursday’s announcement that J.C. Penney’s comparable sales for the nine-week holiday period were up 3.9% over the previous year, but closing stores as part of its annual review process is the norm for the retailer. Forty locations were axed this time last year and in 2014, 33 were shuttered.

“Although we have much work to do, our strengthened omnichannel capabilities enabled our supply chain network to process millions of orders this [holiday] season, supported by 250 stores across the country that helped fulfill online orders using in-store inventory,” Marvin Ellison, chief executive officer, said in a statement released last week. “We look forward to capitalizing on this digital progress through 2016.”

The stores on the chopping block are in:

• Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino, California
• Owings Mills Mall in Owings Mills, Maryland
• Shopping Town Mall in DeWitt, New York
• Cranberry Mall in Cranberry, Pennsylvania
• College Square Mall in Morristown, Tennessee
• Price, Utah
• White Mountain Mall in Rock Springs, Wyoming

Meanwhile, after reporting less-than-stellar holiday sales results last week, Macy’s said it would close 36 stores in early spring. Final clearance sales started on Monday and are expected to run for between eight and 12 weeks.