JC Penney closing 154 stores in first post-bankruptcy phase

National News

FILE – In this May 8, 2020, file photo, a J.C. Penney store sits closed in Roseville, Mich. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed troubled department store chain J.C. Penney into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth major retailer to meet that fate. Penney said late Friday, May 15, 2020, it will be closing some stores and will be disclosing details and timing in the next few weeks. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney said Thursday that it will start closing 154 of its stores next week in what it is calling the first phase of its efforts to shrink its footprint.

The Plano, Texas-based retailer said it could take about 10 to 16 weeks to complete the closures. A list of the stores closing was published on Penney’s website.

Penney filed for bankruptcy protection last month, making it the biggest retailer to do since the coronavirus pandemic forced non-essential stores to be shut down temporarily. J.Crew and Neiman Marcus sought bankruptcy protection days before J.C. Penney. All three were laden with debt and had trouble connecting with shoppers, who are increasingly skipping the mall and shopping online.

As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, Penney said it planned to permanently close nearly a third of its 846 stores in the next two years. That would leave it with just over 600 locations.

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