J.C. Penney reopens at Rushmore Mall in Rapid City
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J.C. Penney reopens at Rushmore Mall in Rapid City

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Rushmore Mall Exterior

The Rushmore Mall in Rapid City.

There’s good news and bad news for Rapid City’s retail community.

Retailers and restaurants at Rushmore Mall are gradually reopening and on Wednesday, J.C. Penney opened its doors again. The Salon by InStyle inside J.C. Penney also opened although appointments are required and the salon is not taking walk-ins. Sephora inside J.C. Penney opens Friday.

“We are very excited,” Sandy Brockhouse, Rushmore Mall general manager, said Wednesday.

In a video posted Wednesday on the mall’s Facebook page, she reassured shoppers.

“We just wanted to let you guys all know that they are taking every precaution following CDC guidelines. Everything’s safe, clean, a great environment to be,” Brockhouse said in the video.

Rapid City’s location is one of 153 J.C. Penney stores nationwide that reopened after being closed due to COVID-19. The retailer is following state and local mandates about COVID-19 restrictions and is reopening stores in phases, J.C. Penney spokesperson Chris Saldana said.

While J.C. Penney was reopening some stores, the corporation also announced May 15 it had filed for bankruptcy reorganization. J.C. Penney will permanently close nearly 30% of its 846 stores as part of a restructuring plan under bankruptcy protection. By February, about 192 stores will close and another 50 will close in 2022. About 600 stores will remain open. Saldana said a list of which stores will be closed permanently has not yet been released.

Gordmans and Pier 1 also announced bankruptcies.

Stage Stores Inc., which owns Bealls and Gordmans department stores, filed for bankruptcy last week. On May 15, the corporation reopened dozens of Gordmans stores that have been closed due to COVID-19, but Rapid City’s location is not part of the first phase of reopenings. No date has been announced for its reopening, according to gordmans.com.

Rapid City’s Pier 1 and all stores in the chain will close later this year. Pier 1 announced on May 19 that it has filed a motion seeking court approval to begin “an orderly wind-down of the company’s retail operations as soon as reasonably possible after store locations are able to reopen following mandated closures during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to business operations information on pier1.com.

Rapid City’s store is currently closed because of COVID-19. Some stores will reopen Friday, but Pier1 media relations could not be reached to confirm whether Rapid City’s store will reopen this week. The company’s website, pier1.com, will be available through July. Stores could remain open through early fall; store closure dates will vary by location.

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