Casper's J.C. Penney store to reopen amid company bankruptcy - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper’s J.C. Penney store to reopen amid company bankruptcy

JCPenney has been an anchor store in the Eastridge Mall since its earliest days. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. – One of the last remaining legacy anchor stores at Eastridge Mall will reopen after closing in March for safety concerns as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S.

According to an email from a J.C. Penney media representative, the Casper store will reopen on Wednesday, May 20, with safety restrictions and protocols put into place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The long-term plan for Casper’s store, however, has not been released.

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J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, and this week announced it will close 242 of its 846 locations. No specific closures have been announced.

“Stores will 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,” said a statement at the company’s website.

The venerable department store was already struggling before closing all of its stores in March amid the pandemic.

J.C. Penney was first started in Kemmerer, Wyo., in 1902 by James Cash Penney, according to the company’s website. The first store was originally a dry goods store named Golden Rule before being renamed to J.C. Penney in 1913. Penney first moved the company’s headquarters to Salt Lake City before moving to New York City a few years later, according to Wikipedia.

The original Kemmerer J.C. Penney, dubbed “The Mother Store,” is still in operation downtown.