The A.J. Wright discount store, located at 7530 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Forest Park, is set to permanently close by the end of February 2011, the company said.

The store’s parent company, TJX Co., a retailer of apparel and home fashions, said it plans to close 12 A.J. Wright stores in the Chicago area – including the Forest Park location – and convert 11 others to either T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods.

A representative from the corporate office did not know the specific number of workers at the Forest Park location, but she said most stores average about 40 employees. A manager at the Forest Park store declined to comment.

The consolidation is part of TJX’s plan to focus on its larger, more profitable businesses, according to a company press release. On a national level, TJX plans to close 71 A.J. Wright stores and two distribution centers, and convert 91 other A.J. Wright stores. The move will eliminate approximately 4,400 positions, mostly part-time, across the country.

“While I believe this move makes us a much stronger company and will benefit TJX in both the near term and long term, it was not an easy decision, as many positions will be eliminated, and it will be difficult for our affected associates,” Carol Meyrowitz, president and chief executive officer of TJX, said in a statement. “While this action will reduce our square footage growth in the near term, due to the 71 store closures, we expect the square footage growth of our continuing operations to remain in the 5 to 6 percent range thereafter. In addition, with this growth, we would expect to continue to create thousands of jobs annually on a worldwide basis.”

– Katie Drews