In 1902, James Cash Penny founded J.C. Penny in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Within one year, he created an addition of two more stores selling general merchandise such as clothing, household goods, etc. In 1909, he made a clever move to Salt Lake City and by 1934, he has grown his little business into an empire, with more than 34 stores.
Till this day the J.C. Penny mother store in Kemmerer, Wyoming still is operating but with reduced weekly hours and is closed on Sundays.
The iconic retailer is part of our American heritage, but sadly, like many other big brand department stores throughout the continental USA, they have been struggling to keep afloat. After a weaker than expected holiday season, J.C. Penny announced that they would be closing 27 stores throughout 2020.
On January 19, 2020, Brooke Buchanan, the Senior Vice President of J.C. Penny announced they would begin with their foretold store closures. They have established that they will be closing six department stores and one call center as of April 24, 2020. More closures will be announced later this year.
Here is a list of J.C. Penny stores that will be closing on April 24, 2020. Most of the stores will be having a closing out sale, so it will be worthwhile to check sales the next two months.
– Missoula, Montana – Southgate Mall
– Valley Stream, New York – Green Acres Mall
– Raleigh, North Carolina – North Hills shopping Center
– Akron, Ohio – Chapel Hill Mall
– Tulsa, Oklahoma – Tulsa Promenade
– Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Myrtle Beach Mall
The call center located in Kansas will be officially closing their doors, with the sole purpose of reorganization within the company. They will be centralizing all calls through their main call center, which improve call operations and streamline their overall customer service.
Last year, J.C. Penny already had to close the doors of more than 27 of their retail stores, also they eliminated within all of their retail stores and online, sales of home appliances and furniture. These changes have helped the company restructure their main attention to clothing and other related merchandise. J.C. Penny stock has been trading at an all-time low for less than $1.20 for more than half a year. Fitch Ratings has added the company to their list of one of the “top loans” to be concerned about in 2020.
Even though J.C. Penny has been struggling for ways to reinvent their image and reconnect with consumers, it has been a losing battle for them. They recreated a new store in the city of Hurst, Texas and gave it a new updated name “Penny’s.” They new store offers more than just merchandise but has designed experiences for their guests to enjoy such as a yoga studio, video game lounge, styling classes and innovative, interactive dressing rooms.
However, J.C. penny’s isn’t the only big brand department store that is in danger of bankruptcy. Last year alone, more than 9,200 stores were closed within the United States alone. 2020 has provided greater economical stability, especially now with the recent coronavirus Novel outbreak in China.
Department stores, such as Macy’s, Ann Taylor, Sears, K-mart, Forever 21 and Pier 1 are all on thin ice at the moment, with plunging stock prices. One of the main reasons for the end of these brick and mortar stores is the higher demand of digital online purchases and new brands that are quicker and more effective at creating to the consumer via social media.