J.C. Penney has announced that it will be closing between 130 and 140 stores over the next few months.

Although the company experienced a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter in 2016, a press release indicates that it plans to "optimize retail operations" in 2017, in order to be more competitive with online retailers.

"We believe the relevance of our brick and mortar portfolio will be driven by the implementation of these initiatives consistently to a larger percent of our stores. Therefore, our decision to close stores will allow us to raise the overall brand standard of the Company and allocate capital more efficiently."

The fate of J.C. Penney's two Flint-area locations is unknown, as the company has yet to disclose which stores will be shuttered.

The company plans to implement an early retirement plan for about 6,000 eligible employees.

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