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Regency JC Penney Permanently Closing; Future In Doubt For AMC Theatres

Anne D'Innocenzio
AP File photo
J.C. Penney has announced plans to close 154 stores nationwide.

  J.C. Penney, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, has announced its Regency Square Mall store in Jacksonville is among 154 stores closing nationwide.

The department store chain announced the first phase of closings Thursday, with additional closings expected to be announced in the coming weeks.  A list of the nine Florida closures announced so far is at the bottom of this story.

“While closing stores is always an extremely difficult decision, our store optimization strategy is vital to ensuring we emerge from both Chapter 11 and the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger retailer with greater financial flexibility to allow us to continue serving our loyal customers for decades to come,” the company said in a news release.

On the First Coast, J.C. Penney also operates department stores at the Orange Park Mall and The Avenues mall.

The closure deals another blow to Regency Square Mall, which has seen many of its anchor tenants and smaller stores shut down over the course of more than a decade, including Belk, Montgomery Ward and Sears.

Meanwhile, another major business across the street from Regency Square Mall is on shaky ground. The AMC Theatres chain, which operates AMC Regency 24, said Wednesday it has “substantial doubt” about whether it can remain in business, CNN reported, citing a regulatory filing.

Although Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this week that movie theaters can partially reopen in Florida on Friday, AMC Regency 24’s website indicated at the time of this story’s publication that it remained closed but to check back for updates.

AMC is the largest movie chain in the U.S, according to its website. Locally, it is also operates AMC Orange Park 24 and AMC Classic Yulee 10.

In its first quarter preliminary results, AMC estimated its adjusted first quarter loss to be $224.5 million.  

As many companies struggle, the U.S. economy is showing signs of rebounding. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported U.S. employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, with the unemployment rate falling to 13.3%.


Florida J.C. Penney Stores That Are Permanently Closing:

Regency Square Mall
9501 Arlington Expy, Ste 105
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Desoto Square Mall
303 301 Blvd W, Ste 701
Bradenton, FL 34205

Coralwood Shopping Center
2301 Del Prado Blvd, Ste 700
Cape Coral, FL 33990

Gulf Coast Town Center
10083 Gulf Center Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33913

Eagle Ridge Mall
501 Eagle Ridge Dr
Lake Wales, FL 33859

Santa Rosa Shopping Center
300 Mary Esther Blvd
Mary Esther, FL 32569

Orlando Fashion Square
3115 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803

Lakeshore Mall
901 US 27 N, Ste 150
Sebring, FL 33870

Westshore Plaza
201 Westshore Plaza
Tampa, FL 33609

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.