06-20 JCPENNEY-01

J.C. Penney Company has closed, indefinitely, its Palestine store at 1930 S. Loop 256.

The closing of the local store, which moved to the mall from the downtown area in 1979, is part of the national retail chain's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The company filed for bankruptcy on May 15, stating later it expected to close 30 percent of its 846 stores in 49 U.S. states. The first phase shuttered 154 stores, including Palestine, Lufkin, and Huntsville.

Stores will conduct liquidation sales, based on their ability to reopen according to each state’s stay-at-home orders. The company, plagued by years of declining sales aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, expects liquidation sales to take 10 to 16 weeks.

Palestine Mayor Steve Presley said bankruptcy proceedings could result in another company, such as Amazon, buying the stores. “We just don't know what's going to happen,” he told the Herald-Press Thursday.

JCPenney's, one of the nation's largest apparel and home furnishing retailers, started in 1902.

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