A Manhattan shopping center that was forced to close down amid the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually reopen, but one store located inside will noticeably not be reopening its doors.
The J.C. Penney located in the Manhattan Mall near Herald Square has closed for good, the company said on Tuesday. The store was located just a few blocks from the famous Macy's flagship on West 34th Street, in an area littered with other stores and shopping destinations.
J.C. Penney moved into the mall, formerly used as the Gimbels flagship, just over a decade ago in 2009. Its departure leaves the mall with no large department store retailer, instead housing a variety of smaller clothing stores and other shops.
Along with the Manhattan store, the J.C. Penney location at Kings Plaza in Brooklyn will also be closing down for good. That location, near Marine Park, is currently open but will permanently close come September 27, and will likely begin its liquidation sale the week of July 12.
Earlier in the summer, the retail chain announced it would be closing 154 stores this summer, with closing sales having started June 12. Other locations in New York (Bay Shore, Poughkeepsie, Valley Stream) were already slated for closure.
J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15, as the Texas-based retailer hopes to reinvent itself as a smaller department store chain.
"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," Chief Executive Jill Soltau said in a statement in June.
There are still three other J.C. Penney locations throughout the five boroughs, in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, that will remain open, and most locations have reopened after being forced to temporarily close due to COVID-19.