JCPenney closing 154 stores this summer

JCPenney released a list Thursday of 154 stores it plans to close this summer.

“Following a comprehensive review of our retail footprint, JCPenney made the difficult decision to close 154 stores,” the company announced in a statement.

The bankrupted company said it would announce additional closures in the next few weeks, CNBC reported.

The full list of stores that will be closed can be found on the JCPenney company blog.

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“While closing stores is always an extremely difficult decision, our store optimization strategy is vital to ensuring we emerge from both Chapter 11 and the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger retailer with greater financial flexibility to allow us to continue serving our loyal customers for decades to come,” Chief Executive Jill Soltau said in a statement.

JCPenney filed for bankruptcy on May 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported.

“Until this pandemic struck, we had made significant progress rebuilding our company under our Plan for Renewal strategy — and our efforts had already begun to pay off,” Soltau said while announcing a financial restructuring plan.

“Implementing this financial restructuring plan through a court-supervised process is the best path to ensure that JCPenney will build on its over 100-year history to serve our customers for decades to come.”

Store closing sales are expected to start June 12 and last between 10 and 16 weeks.

The list of stores the retailer will be closing was released a week after JCPenney announced that by June 3, nearly 500 stores would be reopened.

“We’ve now reopened a third of our stores and to do this, we’re operating differently and taking a strategic and consistent approach, keeping associate and customer safety as our top priority,” executive vice president of stores Jim DePaul said in a statement.

“We are excited to welcome back our loyal customers and dedicated associates, and we are so grateful to our associates for helping us navigate through this environment as we build on our long history and continue the JCPenney story.”

JCPenney opened its first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, in 1902 before growing into a major retailer. It reached its peak number of stores in 1973 with over 2,000 locations across the country, CNN reported.

The company has been struggling with debt for over 10 years as four different CEOs tried to make changes to revive the company.

Its most recent profitable year was 2010, but it has since lost over $4.5 billion and has closed over 20 percent of its stores since the start of 2011.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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