JCPenney's Is the Latest "Mall Victim" Set to Close Several Southern Stores

The struggling retailer blames lease issues — but it’s not the only store set to close

jcp closing stores
Updated June 12, 2024
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One of the last department store relics – famous for everything from home goods to back-to-school gear — is set to close its doors for good on Sept. 22. The JCPenney store in Sikes Senter Mall in Wichita Falls, Texas, will close and will host a sale in its final days before the shutdown.

This news is a blow to local shoppers, who have loved and depended on the former retail giant for decades. 

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Changing retail landscape

jetcityimage - outside of jcp

Local shoppers lamented the store's closure, which was cited as the result of changing lease terms and the lack of a suitable new location.

 Some shoppers told The Sun they’ve shopped there for more than 30 years. “A sad day. I love JC Penney,” said another.

A struggling retailer

jetcityimage - mall entrance to jcpenney

After filing for bankruptcy in 2019, JCPenney has gone from nearly 850 stores to around 600 — the brand is present in every state but Hawaii. 

Still, its recovery has been rocky. In September 2020, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, both big-time mall operators, bought the company for $300 million cash. Meanwhile, the buyers assumed $500 million of the company’s debt.

More stores to close

jetcityimage - red jcpenney outside store

The Wichita Falls store isn’t the only JCPenney set to shutter in the coming year. The company also plans to close its Mobile, Alabama, store by the same date. In May, both the JCPenney store in Ukiah, California and the chain’s outlet in Waterford, Connecticut, closed.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the one giant retailer plans to shutter 154 locations by the end of 2024.

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Bottom line

jetcityimage empty jcpenney lot and store

The closure of JCPenney’s Wichita Falls, Texas, store reflects an unstable retail landscape as more shoppers look online and stores struggle to negotiate lease terms. Other retailers, like Express and CVS, have followed suit, closing many stores and planning to shut down more.

The smartest thing shoppers can do? Take advantage of the last-minute sales while they can.  

Author Details

Laura Ratliff

Laura Ratliff is a writer and editor based in New York. Her writing expertise spans numerous topics, including insurance, travel, food and drink, and reported pieces covering political and human rights issues. She has previously worked at Architectural Digest, Bloomberg News, and Condé Nast Traveler.