Ailing US department store retailer JC Penney has closed ten of its The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. stores.

Six of the stores, which all closed on 17 January, were located in the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, and the remaining four in Kansas City.

The standalone stores were introduced in 2011 and catered to the men’s 'big & tall' customer.

Joey Thomas, spokesman for JC Penney, said: “We have closely monitored the performance of our Foundry business from its inception, learning how best to serve the big and tall shopper. Our analysis determined that we can streamline operations by closing standalone stores and expanding our big and tall merchandise assortment in the convenience of our existing JC Penney locations.”

Thomas said the company is in the process of updating and relocating around 980 'big & tall' departments in its stores, positioning them in prominent locations on the sales floor. The refurbished departments have been renamed The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co.

They are merchandised with updated graphics, fixtures, accent lighting and mannequins, without the need for actual construction.

Thomas added: “We assisted associates in identifying other job opportunities at nearby JC Penney stores, if possible, and eligible associates who did not remain with the company received separation benefits.

“While it’s never an easy decision to close stores, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision.”

Earlier this month, JC Penney revealed plans to close around 40 stores over the next year, resulting in 2,250 job cuts.