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JCPenney is closing 27 stores in 2019, company confirms

The question is, can the 116-year-old brand be saved?
/ Source: TODAY

Department store JCPenney remains in a financial slump and, as a result, is shuttering 27 of its 860 stores in 2019.

J.C. Penney department store
JCPenney is pruning itself down.Reuters

"As part of a standard annual review, the decision was made to close 18 stores across the country, including the three previously announced stores in early January," the department store's spokesperson, Carter C. English, told TODAY Style.

In addition, nine home and furniture stores will close this fall, bringing the total to 27.

Most of the stores are set to close by July 5, the company confirmed, but home and furniture outlet inventory will be sold throughout the summer with final closing dates in the fall.

The decision to prune its outlets comes after sales at the 116-year-old company continued to decline. In February, the company reported that total net sales for fiscal 2018 decreased 7.1 percent, with a net loss of $255 million for the year.

J.C. Penney department store
Most of the 27 stores are expected to close by July 5.Bloomberg via Getty Images

"We have much work to do to position JCPenney for success and create long-term value for our shareholders, however our unwavering focus and discipline is already enabling meaningful progress," said CEO Jill Soltau in a statement.

In addition, the company announced the hire of a new chief financial officer on Tuesday, former Vitamin Shoppe CFO Bill Wafford. His tenure begins April 8.

English said that the company is not confirming which locations will close at this time.