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JCPenney in Detroit Lakes to close in May

JCPenney in Detroit Lakes is set to close its doors for the last time in May, according to multiple sources. Returns on items will be granted until Jan. 31 with liquidation beginning in February.

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A shopper exits JCPenney in Detroit Lakes on Jan. 23, 2023. The retailer will be closing its Detroit Lakes location in May.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — JCPenney in Detroit Lakes will close its doors for the last time this May, according to statement from the retailer.

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Racks of clothes are displayed at JCPenney in Detroit Lakes on Jan. 23, 2023. The retailer will be closing its Detroit Lakes location in May.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

According to company, the retail store plans to begin a liquidation process in February with the store's final shopping day to occur in May. Returns on items will be granted until the end of January at the Detroit Lakes location.

Jim Buus, part of the building's ownership group, 925 Washington Partners LLP, said the lease for the JCPenney store was set to expire in August and the building's ownership group decided not to renew the retailer's lease.

"JCPenney has been struggling for 20 years and they went through bankruptcy and ... the bankruptcy court forced us to redo their lease at a dramatically lower rate such that we were losing money," said Buus.

The ownership group bought the JCPenney building about seven years ago with the understanding the retailer was not going to be a long-term tenant at the location, he said.

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JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020 .

Following the bankruptcy filing, Buus said, "(JCPenney) came to us and said, 'we would like to renew our lease for two years,' implying that in two years they were going to close the store."

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Racks of clothes are displayed at JCPenney in Detroit Lakes on Jan. 23, 2023. The retailer will be closing its Detroit Lakes location in May.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

He added, in recent months, the group was approached by the JCPenney corporate team about another "short-term extension," but the group declined since two other regional retailers have inquired about moving into the space.

Buus also said a new retailer could take over the JCPenney space by the end of the year after some maintenance and other upgrades are made at the location. He added the new tenant is expected to be a long-term fixture at the location and the ownership group would make an announcement about the future of the space as an agreement is finalized.

"You'll see construction, we've got to replace mechanical systems, gut the inside and out and grind the floors down and make it look all shiny again," he said.

In an emailed statement, JCPenney media relations stated: "The decision to close a store is never an easy one. We are grateful to our dedicated associates and the loyal customers who have shopped at our Detroit Lakes location."

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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