JC Penney closing 154 stores, including Independence location, in first post-bankruptcy phase

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NEW YORK — J.C. Penney said Thursday 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 store closures include J.C. Penney’s Independence location on 39th Street. Four other stores in Kansas and Missouri are affected, but they are not in the Kansas City metro.

The Plano, Texas-based retailer said it could take about 10 to 16 weeks to complete the closures. A full 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.

The retailer has six other locations in the Kansas City area: two in Overland Park, the Legends in KCK,  two in the Northland and one in Lee’s Summit.

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