AP NEWS

Two retailers with Johnstown locations announce store closing plans

March 1, 2019

Two major retailers with Johnstown locations announced Thursday that they will be closing some stores after disappointing fourth-quarter sales.

It was not clear Thursday whether The Johnstown Galleria locations of J.C. Penney and Victoria’s Secret are on the chopping block.

A spokesperson for L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret, said that the company is not releasing a list of the 53 stores, which represents less than 5 percent of the total store count at this time. They declined to comment further.

Requests for comment from the mall and J.C. Penney were not returned Thursday afternoon.

If J.C. Penney were to close, it would leave Boscov’s as the only anchor store left at the Galleria mall in Richland Township.

According to a press release, J.C. Penney will close 18 full-line stores in 2019, including three locations previously announced in January, and an additional nine home and furniture stores.

J.C. Penney’s total net sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased 9.5 percent to $3.67 billion, compared with $4.05 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the release.

“As we forge a path to sustainable profitable growth, our decisions included eliminating non-core and low gross margin product categories, significantly reducing unproductive inventory and continuing the revitalization of our women’s apparel business,” CEO Jill Soltau said in the release.

“While we are pleased with these actions, we know we need to move faster to reestablish the fundamentals of retail, build capabilities focused on satisfying our customers’ wants and needs and ensure that our digital and store operations operate seamlessly to provide an experience that wins with customers.”

According to the L Brands website, sales dropped 7 percent during Victoria’s Secret most recent quarter.