JCPenney store in Show Low

The Show Low JCPenney retail store, located at 4481 South White Mountain Road, Ste. 5 in the Park Pineway Plaza, remains open despite other location closures happening across the country this spring.

SHOW LOW — According to 2020 year-end reports by USA Today, J.C. Penney Company Inc. will be closing more stores this spring. At one time there were 689 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The Show Low JCPenney retail store, located at 4481 South White Mountain Road, Ste. 5 in the Park Pineway Plaza, is not on the doomsday list.

“We get customers who occasionally ask us if we are closing but we are remaining open,” said Show Low store manager Cody Carlyle. “We’re getting new merchandise all the time and we are open seven days a week.”

In May 2020, JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced that it would permanently close about 30 percent of its stores. Since then, “the retailer has already closed more than 150 locations,” according to USA Today reports in the last quarter of 2020.

Some reports indicate that the retail store may close another 15 stores by the end of March 2021. The reason for the closure is being reported as a blend of consumer change over to online shopping and the reduction in physical shopping due to the pandemic.

According to an article by House Beautiful published December of last year, Arizona is one of several states in which the closures are slated to happen.

Closures are also occurring in Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky and Massachusetts.

“While store closure decisions are never easy, our store optimization strategy is intended to better position JCPenney to drive sustainable, profitable growth and included plans to close up to 200 stores in phases throughout 2020,” the company said in its statement to the House Beautiful outlet company.

The JCPenney store in the Kingman Square Shopping Center is expected to close by the end of this March. Stores in Arizona that have already closed are Little Creek Center in Cottonwood, El Con Shopping Center in Tucson and Christown Spectrum in Phoenix.

Other retail chain stores reported by USA Today that began closures in late 2020 included Stein Mart, Pier 1 Imports,

Other retail chains still considered “on the edge of trouble” by Moody’s’ include Rite Aid, Jo-Ann fabric stores, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Several of these have already closed stores in 2020 and are expected to close more by the end of the 2021 fiscal year.

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Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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