A Jacksonville retail merchant is safe from the chopping block, for now.
The JCPenney corporation has listed the first 154 stores in 20 states that are proposed to be shuttered permanently, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court proceedings Thursday.
JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 15th after a years long struggle to stay ahead of a substantial debt load, with the company acknowledging that shut downs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic being the last straw forcing them into bankruptcy court.
The Jacksonville store located in Lincoln Square, made the cut and is not listed among the 154 stores all but set to close permanently this year. Stores in Springfield, Peoria and Alton also avoided the closure. In all five stores in Illinois were announced yesterday.
The sigh of relief for area stores is a brief one however, as the retailer announced earlier this year a total of 242 locations are planned for permanent closure by the end of this year.
In a news release posted to the Penney’s website jcprestructuring.com, the company states management “expects additional phases of store closing sales will begin in the coming weeks.” And “sales for the first round of store closures are expected to take 10 to 16 weeks to complete.
The company also states as of June 4th, it has reopened nearly 500 stores since COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease nationwide. The Jacksonville location as well as remaining stores in Illinois continue to have doors locked to walk in customers during phase 3 of Governor’s Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan.