J.C. Penney plans to close 40 stores, shed 2,250 jobs

J.C. Penney Co. said Thursday that it will close about 40 stores this year and cut about 2,250 jobs as it tries to improve profitability.

Most of the stores, located in malls around the country, will close by April 4. No stores in Maine are affected. The Plano, Texas, company currently runs about 1,060 stores.

The announcement came two days after J.C. Penney reported a rise in sales during the critical holiday shopping season, an encouraging sign as the company tries to recover from a botched plan to reinvent itself under former CEO Ron Johnson.

J.C. Penney said all employees at stores being closed will be offered career training classes, and some employees are eligible to receive separation benefits.

Macy’s to lay off thousands, close stores in restructuring

Macy’s plans to restructure its merchandising and marketing and lay off thousands of workers in response to changes in the way customers shop in stores and online.

The retailer said Thursday it will also close 14 department stores but open two new locations, resulting in annual savings of roughly $140 million. Macy’s says it plans to reinvest those savings into its business.

It says its overall workforce of about 175,000 will remain level as it picks up staffing in other functions.

About 1,400 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants to open in China

Dunkin’ Brands entered a franchise agreement to add more than 1,400 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in China, the company’s largest development deal ever.

A joint venture of Jollibee Foods and Jasmine Asset will open and operate the restaurants as franchisee, Dunkin’ said Thursday in a written statement. The first location may open in the fourth quarter.

Dunkin’, which also owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, has been expanding since going public in 2011, announcing new locations in the U.S. West, Australia, Vietnam and Germany. The company already has 16 restaurants in China and more than 2,200 in its Asia Pacific region.

Coca-Cola cuts 1,600 jobs as sales of soda weaken in U.S.

With soda sales weakening in North America, Coca-Cola says it will cut 1,600 to 1,800 jobs in coming months to trim costs.

The world’s biggest beverage maker began notifying workers in the U.S. and some international locations Thursday. The cuts are in all job types and include about 500 positions at its Atlanta headquarters.

The company, which makes Sprite, Powerade, Vitaminwater and other drinks, has about 130,600 employees around the world, according to FactSet.

— From news service reports