J.C. Penney delays closing of 138 stores by several weeks

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, customers walk out of a J.C. Penny department store in Dallas. J.C. Penney said Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, that it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney says it is delaying the closure of 138 stores by several weeks to take advantage of better-than-expected sales at those locations.

The company said Friday that more shoppers have visited the stores after it announced last month which locations were closing. J.C. Penney spokesman Joey Thomas says that’s common, and cited reasons including “curiosity, nostalgia and the lure of lower prices.”

The stores will now shut down on July 31 instead of in mid-June. Liquidation sales will start at those stores on May 22 instead of April 17.

The closures are part of Penney’s plan to focus on its best-performing stores. J.C. Penney Co., based in Plano, Texas, will still have about 900 stores after the closures.

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