VALDOSTA — The embattled JCPenney store chain is reopening 112 of its locations Wednesday — and Valdosta’s isn’t one of them. But that doesn’t mean the Valdosta store won't be reopening in the future.
The department store chain closed all of its 846 locations in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 15, the 118-year-old retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it would have to permanently close some of its stores to survive.
Not reopening Wednesday doesn’t mean the Valdosta Mall’s JCPenney store is gone permanently. The company said in a statement Monday that “it is still early in the process, and we don’t have a list to share of the stores impacted by the restructuring.”
The company did say that three stores in Georgia — in Hiram, Columbus and Fayetteville — would reopen Wednesday. Stores in Mcdonough and Augusta reopened at the end of April.
Tim Nolan, general manager of the Valdosta Mall, said the reopening of JCPenney stores will be in batches, and he expects Valdosta’s location would reopen soon.
“I expect it will be in the next batch, next week or the one following,” he said.
The local JCPenney store manager has been keeping mall management updated on the situation, Nolan said.
As for store closures: the company’s statement said stores would close in phases throughout the Chapter 11 process, “and the first phase of closures, including specific store details and timing, will be disclosed in the coming weeks.”
The company was founded in Kemmerer, Wyo., in 1902 and is named for founder James Cash Penney.
Valdosta’s JCPenny store — or “Penneys” as the company once branded itself — opened on April 5,1967, as the major anchor for the Five Points Shopping Plaza, where it remained until moving in 1983 to become one of the opening-day anchor stores for the Valdosta Mall.