JCPenney Announces Next Round of Store Closures — Here’s When Sales Begin

J. C. Penney Company Inc. is shuttering even more doors.

The bankrupt retailer announced last night an additional 13 outposts were set to shut down permanently as part of the second phase of its store optimization strategy. The next round of closures are pending court approval, with sales expected to begin on or around July 3.

The JCPenney locations span five states: Mid Valley Mall and Omache Shopping Center in Washington; Greenville West Mall, the JCPenneys in Owosso and Big Rapids, Northtown Village, Bay City Mall, Mount Pleasant Shopping Center and Meridian Mall, all seven in Michigan; the Mall at Prince George’s in Maryland; South Shore Mall and Poughkeepsie Galleria in New York; and Sun Valley Mall in California.

“These decisions were made based on a comprehensive evaluation of our retail footprint and a careful analysis of store performance and future strategic fit for JCPenney,” a spokesperson added. The company added that it would share more details of its third phase of closures at a later date.

Last week, JCPenney confirmed the permanent closures of 136 stores as it wades through bankruptcy proceedings. It whittled down an initial list of 154 expected shutdowns by 18 units, with liquidation sales beginning on June 17 and expected to last about three to four months.

JCPenney, which was founded 118 years ago, filed for Chapter 11 protection in mid-May. According to the filing, it had $500 million in cash at hand and received debtor-in-possession financing commitments of $900 million. It also recently received court approval to access $450 million of new money from its first-lien lenders, $225 million of which will be drawn immediately.

The beleaguered retailer’s longtime struggles were compounded amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced it to shutter scores of outposts across the country and furlough majority of its retail associates. Today, nearly all of the chain’s outposts have reopened with safety precautions in place following coronavirus-related closures. As part of its plan to restructure, the company intends to reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint, while focusing its resources on top-performing locations and its e-commerce business.

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