Sad news today for the troubled retailer and mall staple J.C. Penney: it's going close 33 of its locations (and cut 2,000 jobs) to try to save an estimated $65 million this year. It seems a business can't run on Hitler tea kettles alone.
Of those closures, five are in Wisconsin, far more than any other state (Pennsylvania came in second with three). According to J.C. Penney's store locator, the state only has 21 J.C. Penneys, so that's almost a quarter of its stores.
What gives? Apparently, Wisconsinites aren't into it: J.C. Penney said the stores were "underperforming." The Chicago Tribune blamed it on the dominance of Penney "archrival" Kohl's, which is headquartered in the state.
Or perhaps Wisconsinites just like their businesses independent. The Wasau Center mall will be especially hard hit: it's also losing a Gap and a Hollister this month. Janke Book Store co-owner Jane Janke Johnson told the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune that she "gasped" when she heard the news, but "there are still some very strong, viable and unique businesses in downtown Wausau, and I feel those businesses and anchors will continue to draw customers." I have a feeling she's talking about a certain book store.
Or perhaps J.C. Penney is hoping it'll be a hit with hipsters: according to the New York Times, it's moving forward with its plans to open a store in Brooklyn.
This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/business/2014/01/wisconsin-doesnt-jcpenney/357063/