Bankrupt J.C. Penney plans to permanently shutter 154 stores across the U.S., with going-out-of-business sales set to begin at those locations on June 12. The 118-year-old retailer plans to close a total of 242 locations by the fall.
J.C. Penney declared bankruptcy in May. It was one of many brick-and-mortar stores forced to temporarily close locations in April and May as the coronavirus pandemic raced across the U.S. Although the shutdowns pushed the retailer closer to insolvency, the company had been struggling for years with changing consumer tastes and a shift to ecommerce.
J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau said the store closures will help it emerge from bankruptcy in a better financial position. "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," she said in a statement.
J.C. Penney, which will continue operating most of its 850 stores, said the locations chosen for closure were picked after "a comprehensive review of our retail footprint." In its most recent quarter J.C. Penney's sales fell nearly 8%, to $3.4 billion, from the year-ago period, while net income fell to $27 million from $75 million a year earlier. The company is also weighed down by $4 billion in debt and had previously closed numerous stores in recent years to help cut costs.
Below is a list of the J.C. Penney stores that are closing: