In a bankruptcy court filing Thursday, J.C. Penney revealed the list of stores it will shutter in its first round of closures, including the store in the Durango Mall.
The department store, which filed for bankruptcy May 15, said in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later in May that it expected to eventually close about 30% of its 846 stores, moving away from weaker malls.
Besides the store in Durango, the other Colorado stores J.C. Penney will close will be in Greeley, Fort Collins and Montrose.
The first phase consists of 154 stores, which J.C. Penney said will conduct liquidation sales as they are able to reopen according to states’ stay-at-home orders.
Across the country, four stores already have begun going-out-of-business sales.
The company said in its filing that liquidation sales will take about 10 to 16 weeks to complete, after which stores would close for good.
The court must approve the closings, though that generally is a formality.
The 154 identified in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing Thursday represent 18% of the Plano, Texas-based company’s store leases in 38 states.
J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy reorganization in May after the coronavirus pandemic temporarily closed all its stores, putting its turnaround efforts in jeopardy. A judge approved a $900 million financing package Thursday to fund its reorganization. Retail bankruptcies can deteriorate quickly as J.C. Penney’s lenders have power to convert the filing into a liquidation.
“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,” said CEO Jill Soltau in a news release.
James Cash Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, in 1902, and he proceeded to open stores in smaller farming and ranching towns and later in more urban downtowns. Finally, the expansion into suburban malls in the 1970s and 1980s made J.C. Penney a coast-to-coast national department store chain.