J.C. Penney pushes store closings to May. Will your store shutter? See the updated closure list.

J.C. Penney has delayed the closings of 15 stores that were scheduled to shutter in March and added three locations to its closure list.

The department store chain was one of the largest retailers to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and officials said in May 2020 that they planned to close about 29% of its 846 stores or 242 locations.

Since then 156 stores have permanently closed and in December emerged from bankruptcy after being acquired by mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Now, a total of 18 stores are scheduled to close in mid-May bringing the closures to 174.

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“Our go-forward store count is 672. We have 18 stores that are scheduled to close to the public on May 16,” J.C. Penney said in a brief statement to USA TODAY. “There are no additional store closures planned at this time.”

In December, J.C. Penney officials told USA TODAY 15 of the 18 stores on the closing list would close in mid to late March as part of its restructuring. Officials would not answer questions on why the closings were delayed until May.

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Since filing for bankruptcy, J.C. Penney has added two new home goods store brands into its mix and said in January it would stop carrying MyPillow products after CEO Mike Lindell pushed claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

J.C. Penney continues to close stores after exiting bankruptcy. (Photo: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY)

Other retailers also are closing stores this year, including Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Godiva and Christopher & Banks. As consumers continue to shop online, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the company is expected to close more stores in 2021 than it usually does.

At many retailers, liquidation sales have been handled differently during the pandemic with fewer shoppers allowed into stores based on state and local regulations.

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