Temporarily closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the JCPenney store in the Statesboro Mall will permanently close following a liquidation sale expected to begin on June 12.
The company announced Thursday evening that the Statesboro store would close as part of its bankruptcy plan. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 15.
The department store chain had already said it would close 242 locations for good, leaving about 600 open. But it had not yet revealed which locations were set for liquidation. In a bankruptcy court filing Thursday, the company listed the first 154 locations to close, which included the Statesboro store.
A hearing is set for June 11 to consider the proposal. If bankruptcy Judge David Jones signs off, going-out-of-business sales could begin June 12 and are expected to last 10 to 16 weeks, according to the company website. The liquidation sale probably will last longer than similar sales in the past because fewer shoppers will be allowed into stores due to coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
“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,” JCPenney CEO Jill Soltau said in a statement.
Penney is the largest retailer to file for bankruptcy protection since the coronavirus pandemic forced non-essential stores to be shut down temporarily. J.Crew and Neiman Marcus sought bankruptcy protection days before Penney, which was founded in 1902.
The other Penney stores to close in Georgia are: Georgia Square, in Athens; Northlake Mall, in Atlanta; Arbor Place Mall, in Douglasville; Lakeshore Mall, in Gainesville; Mount Berry Mall, in Rome; and Hatcher Point Mall, in Waycross.
The two closest Penney stores remaining open are in the Oglethorpe Mall on Abercorn Street in Savannah and in the Augusta Mall in Augusta.