J.C. Penney Co. confirmed plans to close its San Fernando store effective July 28, a move which will impact some 50 employees.
The 60,000 square foot store is located on the corner of San Fernando Road and San Fernando Mission Boulevard.
Penney’s spokesman Joey Thomas said the change is “essential in helping us achieve our long-term goals. We would not have moved forward with this difficult decision if we did not believe it was absolutely necessary for the future growth of our company,” Thomas said in an emailed statement.
The Plano, Tex-based retailer has struggled in recent years. The company reported a net loss of $163 million or 75 cents a chare in its first quarter compared to a profit of $64 million or 28 cents a share in the same period last year.
Employees of the San Fernando store were notified of the closure on May 31, Thomas said. The company plans to assist employees in identifying opportunities at nearby J.C Penney stores, which include Lancaster, Northridge, Glendale, Burbank, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley. Eligible employees who do not remain with the company will receive separation benefits.
Thomas said the company has no plans to close other locations in California.
San Fernando City Administrator Al Hernandez told the Los Angeles Daily News that the company claimed the store was under-performing when it called to inform the city of its closure, effective July 28.
The San Fernando store has been a mainstay in the community since 1920, said Kenn Phillips, vice president of the Valley Economic Alliance.
“It’s sad that the city is losing an anchor tenant,” Phillips said.
While losing a longstanding tenant in the community is difficult, Phillips said there is an opportunity to fill the space with a fresh new tenant that could be a positive addition to the community.
“The community has the chance to look into revitalization,” Phillips. “There’s a chance to turn a negative into a positive.”