Target is closing a dozen stores — but not until after the holidays.

The chain says the closings are part of a natural process of trying to refine its portfolio of stores, shutting a few every year to winnow out the losers while expanding with promising new ones.

In Target's case, it says it will have opened 32 new stores in 2017, creating 2,000 jobs.

The 12 stores being closed will stay open through the holiday season and beyond, finally shutting on Feb. 3.

"This decision was not made lightly," said Target spokeswoman Erin Conroy. "We have a rigorous process in place to evaluate the performance of every store on an annual basis, closing or relocating underperforming locations as needed."

The closings come at a time when Target is facing tremendous pressure from online merchants like Amazon, which has forced it to watch costs and try to come up with creative strategies to keep its stores viable.

The stores being closed are:

• Eastland in Harper Woods, Mich.
• Hutchinson, Kans.
• Benton Harbor, Mich.
• Fergus Falls, Minn.
• Hastings, Minn.
• Macon, Ga.
• Slidell, La.
• Lauderhill, Fla.
• Matteson, Ill.
• Romeoville, Ill.
• Baltimore West
• San Antonio Far East