JCPenney: Store failed to meet its profit goals

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

JCPenney will soon close its doors in Brookhaven.

Corporate officials said Monday morning that the departmentstore has begun the process of closing its location here.

The store will stay open through the Christmas season while theretailer attempts to liquidate its remaining stock.

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“The store is closing on or before Jan. 29,” said QuintonCrenshaw, a company spokesman. “It was a very tough decision.”

The store was not meeting the company’s profitability or salesrequirements to remain open, Crenshaw said.

A JCPenney store at Edgewood Mall in McComb may have contributedto the Brookhaven store’s demise, he said, saying the two storeswere competing for the same customer base.

The Brookhaven store opened in 1985, and McComb’s opened twoyears later when the mall was built.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce President KennyGoza expressed sadness upon hearing the news Monday.

“That’s bad news for us as a community,” he said. “It willcertainly affect us to lose a major retailer like that inBrookhaven. We’ll lose jobs and some sales tax money.”

Westbrook Mart manager Harold Samuels said the company’s leaseat the location was not up until later in 2005 and it wasJCPenney’s decision to close by January.

“They’ve been here a long time,” he said. “We regret they’releaving Brookhaven. We did everything we could to convince them tostay. We know how much they meant to Brookhaven.”

The store employs 24 associates, Crenshaw said, and the companywould “help them identify opportunities at other stores and atother retail outlets.”

Some of the associates will be offered employment at thecompany’s McComb store after store here closes, he said.

JCPenney has been serving American consumers for more than 100years, since James Cash Penney opened his first Golden Rule Storein 1902.

J.C. Penney Corp. Inc., the wholly owned operating subsidiary ofthe company, is one of America’s largest department store, catalog,and e-commerce retailers, employing approximately 150,000associates, according to the JCPenney Web site.

As of July 31, J.C. Penney Corp. operated 1,018 JCPenneydepartment stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and 60stores in Brazil. JCPenney is the nation’s largest catalog merchantof general merchandise, the Web site said.