JCPenny Closing 138 Stores, Including 7 In Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS) – JCPenny stores have been a staple in the community for decades.

Now, like so many others, the time has come to downsize.

JCPenny released a list of 138 stores that will permanently close. Twelve of the locations are in Indiana and Illinois, including suburban Woodridge. CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey has the story.

The Woodridge JCPenny’s store is just one of 138 stores closing across the country. That is about 14 percent of the current store count.

And if you think you are hearing about more and more stores closing, well you are. One expert said this trend has been around for a while.

JCPenny was once known as an “anchor tenant.” Now it is another big box store succumbing to its online rivals.

“JCPenny’s is one of my family’s favorite stores so it was nice because obviously they have a lot of coupons, you know, it’s more affordable so it was nice to shop here,” said Courtney Johnson, Lombard.

The latest closing will put about 5,000 JCPenny’s workers out of a job.

The Woodridge location is about a mile from the Ultra Foods in Downers Grove that announced this month it was closing. Then there is the former Chipain’s Fresh Market about 6 miles away, that also closed this month.

Dark store shelves are now a vibrant reminder of what once was.

Rob Karr is President and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and said change is hard, but these store closures reflect what consumers want.

“I think we have to keep a little perspective. The retail industry is the most dynamic of the business sectors. It’s always in a state of constant evolution and I think that evolution is getting more rapid,” Karr said.

Karr said despite recent closures, brick and mortar stores are here to stay, but how they look and feel in the future may be different.

“Amazon’s opening a brick and mortar book store to go with their service so I think it’s figuring out how to make all these channels work together to serve the consumer,” Karr said.

And that Amazon store officially opens Tuesday in Lakeview.

In terms of JCPenny, the Woodridge location is one of seven stores in Illinois closing, and there are five closing in Indiana.

– Eastland Mall, Bloomington, IL
– Fulton Square, Canton, IL
– Village Square Mall, Effingham, IL
– Freestanding, Macomb, IL
– Peru Mall, Peru, IL
– Northland Mall, Sterling, IL
– Centerpointe of Woodridge, Woodridge, IL
– FairOaks Mall, Columbus, IN
– Connersville Plaza, Connersville, IN
– Huntington Plaza, Huntington, IN
– Jasper Manor Center, Jasper, IN
– Logansport Mall, Logansport, IN

For a full list, check out this website.

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