J.C. Penney closing 40 stores, including one in Statesville

J.C. Penney said Thursday that it plans to close 40 underperforming stores nationwide, including one in Statesville, as part of an effort to trim its store portfolio.

The J.C. Penney store at Signal Hill Mall in Statesville will close in early April, as will the other locations, a spokesman said. The company is also closing stores in three other North Carolina cities: Asheboro, Elizabeth City and Wilson.

“While it’s never an easy decision to close stores, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision,” said spokesman Carter English. In total, the store closures will result in about 2,250 job cuts.

J.C. Penney has struggled in recent years with increased competition from online retailers and other department stores. After the latest store closures, J.C. Penney will still operate just over 1,000 locations.