The J.C. Penney store in Easley is scheduled to close in mid-June after nearly 20 years of doing business in the Town N’ Country shopping center along U.S. 123.
The store is on a list of 138 stores around the country that J.C. Penney is closing in a cost-cutting move. In South Carolina, the retailer also plans to close a Charleston store. The company has announced no plans to close its Greenville and Spartanburg stores.
The Plano, Texas-based retailer said the closings will affect 5,000 employees, including 30 at the Easley store.
A manager at the Easley store referred questions to J.C. Penney’s corporate office.
In an email to UBJ, J.C. Penney spokesperson Sarah Holland said the company is helping affected employees find new jobs at nearby stores if possible. In addition, she said, affected employees will receive “separation benefits,” if eligible.
A liquidation sale begins at the Easley store on April 17, she said.
Cindy Hopkins, president of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, said the closing of J.C. Penney — and a Kmart in 2015 — are not indications of the health of Easley’s retail market, which has grown in recent years with the emergence of the Walmart-anchored Easley Town Center.
“In recent years [retail has] been a very strong suit for Easley in terms of recruiting new business to town,” Hopkins said, noting that Hamrick’s and Bargain Hunt quickly filled the retail space left vacant by the Kmart closure in the Easley Village Shopping Center.
J.C. Penney also announced the closing of a supply chain facility in Florida and the relocation of one in California.