JCPenney closes standalone Big and Tall stores

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) has closed all 10 of its standalone Foundry Big and Tall stores. The brand, introduced in 2011, catered to the larger male customer and sold apparel, footwear, socks, underwear and ties.

"We have closely monitored the performance of our Foundry business from its inception, learning how best to serve the big and tall shopper," Joey Thomas, a spokesman for JCPenney told the Kansas City Star. "Our analysis determined that we can streamline operations by closing stand-alone stores and expanding our big and tall merchandise assortment in the convenience of our existing JCPenney locations."

The parent company is in the process of updating and relocating the in-store big and tall departments. Almost 980 in total, the departments have been renamed The Foundry Big and Tall Supply Co., and feature new fixtures, lighting and updated graphics.

JCPenney said that big and tall shoppers make up more than 50 percent of the male population and spend about $6 billion annually in their stores.

Following a difficult 2014, the announcement comes just weeks after the company said it would close 40 stores in the next year, 4 percent of its 1,060 locations, and cut about 2,250 jobs as it tries to raise profits. JCPenney is still recovering from a plan to reinvent itself under former CEO Ron Johnson. Johnson's struggles are well documented, and despite the progress made since Mike Ullman's return as CEO, it looks like the retailer isn't out of the woods just yet.

For more:
-See this Kansas City Star blog

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