Calling it part of its "store optimization strategy," The J. C. Penney Company announced Thursday (June 4) which stores in the United States they would be part of its "first phase" of closings. Store closing sales for the first round of store closures are expected to take 10-16 weeks to complete, the company says. The closings are part of J.C. Penny's current restructuring plan.

The list of 154 stores released this week does not include any of the company's stores in Wyoming. Four stores in Colorado will close, two in Utah; and one store will close in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana.

JCPenney was founded in 1902 by James Cash Penney in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The first store, named The Golden Rule. There are currently three JCPenny stores in Wyoming. In the Frontier Mall in Cheyenne, in the Eastridge Mall in Casper, and the JC Penney Museum and Mother Store in Kemmerer.

“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, chief executive officer of JCPenney, said in a statement.

In May JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and entered into a restructuring support agreement with its lenders.

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