Despite delivering a net profit for the first time since 2010, the company's CEO said it needs to take "aggressive action."
"We believe closing stores will also allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers," CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement posted Friday morning.
Over the next few months, that action will include closing two distribution facilities and 130-140 stores. The affected distribution facilities are in Florida and California, but no list of affected stores was provided.
The company said a list of affected stores will be released in March, after the company notifies its employees. Nearly all of the closures are expected to occur in the second quarter of 2017.
JCPenney did say the affected stores represent 13-14 percent of the company's locations, but less than 5 percent of total annual sales.
Approximately 6,000 eligible employees will be offered a voluntary early retirement program, the company said. Because of that program, Ellison expects the company to face a net increase in hiring across the remaining stores.
JCPenney was included on a research company's list of 30 companies that may not survive 2017.