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J.C. Penney to close 13 more stores, including at Westfield South Shore mall

Customers enter J.C. Penney at Westfield South Shore

Customers enter J.C. Penney at Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore last week. Credit: James Carbone

J.C. Penney's closing of 13 more stores, including one in Bay Shore, will leave the retailer with only one location on Long Island.

Those planned closings, made public Monday, are in addition to the 136 store closures that the retailer announced last week, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. 

“We will continue to operate the majority of our stores and our flagship store,, to ensure our valued customers continue to have access to the products and brands they need and want,” the retailer said in a statement Monday. It will have 697 locations after the closings that were announced in the last week take place.

J.C. Penney's Bay Shore location is in Westfield South Shore mall. When the store opened in 1967, at 207,000 square feet, it was the retailer’s seventh and largest on Long Island, according to Newsday archives. After that closing, Long Island’s only J.C. Penney will be at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City.

Closing sales began at the 136 stores last week and will last 10-16 weeks, spokeswoman Kristen Bennett said. For the 13 additional closures announced Monday, closing sales will begin around July 3 and also last 10-16 weeks, she said. No specific date has been set for the closings, she said.

Founded in 1902, the iconic retailer has been struggling for years with competition from online and discount retailers, and with its enormous debt.

In January 2010, J.C. Penney had 1,108 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

Last year, J.C. Penney shut 27 stores, including the one at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

In 2017, it closed 138 locations, including a store in Massapequa.

The J.C. Penney at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream is on the list of 136 closing stores announced last week, but the retailer had already said in January that that local store would be among six in different states closing in April. The store at Green Acres Mall has been closed since March 18, when J.C. Penney shuttered all its stores temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

J.C. Penney Co. filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas, on May 15, citing the pandemic as the primary reason for the action.

“Until this pandemic struck, we had made significant progress rebuilding our company under our Plan for Renewal strategy – and our efforts had already begun to pay off. While we had been working in parallel on options to strengthen our balance sheet and extend our financial runway, the closure of our stores due to the pandemic necessitated a more fulsome review to include the elimination of outstanding debt,” Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, said in a statement in May.

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