J.C. Penney Company, Inc. announced earlier today plans to close 130 to140 stores over the next few months. Ask any lifelong Grand Junction resident, and they will all tell you the same thing - no one can remember a time when there wasn't a "Penney's" in Grand Junction. Will our store be affected by the closures?

In an attempt to return the company to profitability, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. plans to close two distribution facilities and up to 140 stores.

I was born in Grand Junction and clearly remember visiting the old store on Main Street. This was long, long before there was any such thing as the Mesa Mall. Eventually, the downtown store was closed and relocated to the mall.

Check out the Cisco Kid making an appearance outside the old Grand Junction J.C. Penney's. Somewhere in the audience is my mom. The store was there forever. The building still stands to this day.

When Grand Junction was a smaller place, J.C. Penney was the "go to" place. We had Kmart, Woolco, Woolworth's, Sears, and J.C. Penney. Right now, you may be asking yourself, "What's a Woolco?" Woolco was the bomb.

Why is there any question as to the future of J.C. Penney? The following statement was released earlier today.

We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers. Maintaining a large store base gives us a competitive advantage in the evolving retail landscape since our physical stores are a destination for personalized beauty offerings, a broad array of special sizes, affordable private brands and quality home goods and services. It is essential to retain those locations that present the best expression of the JCPenney brand and function as a seamless extension of the omnichannel experience through online order fulfillment, same-day pick up, exchanges and returns. - Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney.

What about the employees who could potentially lose their job? According to the statement issued today, associates impacted by store and distribution center closures will receive separation benefits, including assistance in finding other employment.

Grand Junction has been forced to say farewell to a number of major shopping outlets recently. Over the last few months, Hastings and Kmart have been forced to close stores. Will Grand Junction's J.C. Penney store be next? As of this time, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. has not stated which stores have been targeted for closure.

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