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J.C. Penney to close stores in Marinette, U.P.

(WLUK) -- The J.C. Penney stores in Marinette as well as Kingsford and Escanaba, Michigan are among 138 set to close.

Last month, the company announced plans to close stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it tries to improve profitability. The company said that it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees.

The final list of stores was announced Friday. In addition to the store at the Pine Tree Mall in Marinette, J.C. Penney is closing Wisconsin locations in Marshfield, Richland Center and Wisconsin Rapids. The distribution centers closing are in Florida and California.

Like other department stores, J.C. Penney is trying to adjust to changing shopping patterns such as online shopping. But it is also still recovering from a catastrophic reinvention plan under a former CEO that sent sales and profits freefalling starting in 2012. Since then, it has focused efforts on its home area, started selling major appliances again and expanded its number of in-store Sephora beauty shops.

The company says most affected stores will begin liquidation April 17 and close in June.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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