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JC Penney closing Blue Ridge Mall store

The J.C. Penney store in Blue Ridge Mall is among 138 stores the retailer is closing in the growing trend of large companies reducing their brick and mortar footprint.

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The company released a list of 138 department stores it plans to close as part of a previously announced plan to cut costs, multiple media outlets reported. Most stores will begin liquidation sales April 17 and close in June, USA Today reported. The store closings were expected to affect 5,000 workers, some of which will receive transfer opportunities. Penney will continue to operate nearly 900 stores.

"It became apparent to us that our footprint was too large," Penney CEO Marvin Ellison told investors in February, and the closures will "allow us to raise the overall brand standard of J.C. Penney" and invest in remaining stores.