JCPenney is officially closing 154 stores nationwide

This news comes after the department store previously filed for bankruptcy.

June 8, 2020, 3:01 PM

JCPenney has confirmed that 154 stores will close this year.

This news comes shortly after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, one day after it made an approximately $17 million interest payment on debt owed. At the time, plans were announced to close approximately 30% of the retailers' 846 stores.

The department store will begin liquidation sales as stores begin to reopen amid COVID-19 shutdowns over the next few months.

"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," said CEO Jill Soltau in a statement.

The 118-year-old company will be closing stores in South Carolina, New York, Ohio and a lot more across the U.S.

"I am incredibly grateful to our talented associates for their ongoing dedication and their passion for meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations during this difficult and uncertain time," said Soltau. "All impacted associates will be treated with the utmost consideration and respect."

Beginning June 4, the brand reopened nearly 500 locations after closing all stores and business offices in mid-March amid the coronavirus outbreak.

JCPenney joins Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works which also announced store closures this year.