The JCPenney store in Terre Haute, although still not re-opened from the COVID-19 retail shutdown, does plan to open again — at least according to owners of Haute City Center.

JCPenney in Terre Haute looks to reopen

Tribune-Star/Austen Leake Sign of the times: JC Penney’s location in Haute City Center has been closed since the statewide shutdown of non essential retail shops due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The JCPenney at Haute City Center is not on the list of [the planned] store closings and remains open,” said Laura Neroulias, associate vice president of Quinn PR, which represents Out of the Box Ventures LLC, owners the shopping center formerly known as Honey Creek Mall. Neroulias did not have a reopening date available.

JCPenney on Monday said it would permanently close nearly 30% of its 846 stores as part of a restructuring plan under bankruptcy protection. The company would close about 192 stores by February 2021, then another 50 in 2022.

The Tribune-Star sought comment from the Texas-based JCPenney chain.

In an email late Tuesday afternoon, the retailer wrote, “It is still early in the process, and we don’t have a list to share of the stores impacted by the restructuring. We will continue to keep our valued customers and associates informed as information becomes available.”

The company has set up a web page regarding the restructuring that is accessible to the public. It is available at https://jcprestructuring.com/

Haute City Center reopened May 15 with reduced hours and limited entrances in line with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s phased-in reopening strategy to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Regarding the Penney store reopenings related to COVID-19, the company wrote, “We’re continuing to reopen our stores gradually in a phased approach. While we’re complying with state and local orders, we’re looking beyond those mandates to ensure our shoppers are comfortable and feel safe when they return to our stores.”

JCPenney said it had 41 stores open across the U.S. as of Tuesday and another 112 reopening on Wednesday (May 20), including seven in Indiana — Greenwood, Seymour, Mishawaka, Plymouth, Plainfield, Noblesville and Valparasio.

The company has a page dedicated to its response to COVID-19 and reopenings at https://companyblog.jcpnewsroom.com/storesopen/

Last week, the Texas-based JCPenney announced it had received approvals from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas for motions of voluntary Chapter 11 petitions, including approval for the company to access and use its roughly $500 million in cash collateral.

Among other things, the court has authorized JCPenney to continue paying non-furloughed associate wages, provide certain benefits to all associates and to pay vendor partners in the ordinary course for all goods and services provided on or after the Chapter 11 filing date.

Also, the company said it has commitments from lenders for an additional $900 million to help the company get through its restructuring.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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