J.C. Penney is closing four stores in Minnesota as it restructures its business after filing for bankruptcy last month.
The four locations are in Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Willmar.
They are among a first wave of 154 stores J.C. Penney is closing nationwide as it looks to refocus resources on its strongest stores and its online business. It expects to continue to operate a majority of its stores.
Store-closing sales will start June 12 and will last 10-16 weeks.
A number of retailers, including Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, have filed for bankruptcy in recent weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these retailers were already struggling before they were forced to close stores as a result of the pandemic. Analysts expect to see more retail bankruptcies in the coming months.
Department stores in particular have been unable to keep up with the shift to online shopping. J.C. Penney, which has had declining sales for years, has also suffered from a number of strategic missteps such a failed attempt to overhaul its pricing structure several years ago.
“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,” Jill Soltau, JCPenney’s CEO, said in a statement.
The company plans to announce more store closings in coming weeks. It has said it expects to close 242 locations, or nearly 30%, of its stores.
J.C. Penney also has locations at Rosedale Center, Ridgedale Center, Burnsville Center and Maplewood Mall, as well as one in Woodbury.