Five JC Penney stores to close in Kansas

JC Penney has announced plans to close 138 stores across the country.

Five stores Kansas stores will close in Chanute, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Lawrence and Winfield. Click here for a full list of closures.

Great Bend natives said the JC Penney downtown has been a staple in the area for decades, and they are surprised to see it close.

"i just found out a few minutes ago and i was extremely upset," Tara Smith said. "I have four kids and we do a lot of shopping there. We actually just became gold members on our credit card. That's how much shopping we do there."

Other community members said the closure further limits shopping options in their area.

"There's not many clothing stores people can go get their clothes from," Tanisha Hesla said. "There's only Maurice's, Walmart, and now, JC Penney is going to be gone."

JC Penney says the closures are a part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability.

Approximately 5,000 positions will be affected nationwide closures.

Most stores will close in June. The liquidation process will begin on April 17.