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Is JC Penney's wavering in its decision to close stores, including the one in Decorah?

Posted: Fri, Apr 14, 2017 9:52 AM

JC Penney's management has announced it is delaying its planned closings of 138 stores in its chain--including the one in Decorah.

"Since announcing store closures, affected locations have seen better than expected sales and traffic," J.C. Penney spokesman Joey Thomas told USA TODAY.

The new plan calls for stores to close on July 31st, six weeks later than originally planned. 

The announcement came as a group of Decorah volunteers announced a "Vote with your Wallet" campaign, asking area residents to buy an item at the Decorah JC Penney's--no matter how small--to show the community's support of the chain.  At the same time, the effort to get 5,000 signatures on a petition asking Penney's to keep the store open is heading into its final stretch, with 1,261 additional signatures needed to reach 5,000, as of 10:00 a.m. Friday.

Penney's believes it would save about $200 million a year by closing the 138 stores. However, its real financial problem is that it has $4.3 billion in long-term debt.