Hanes Mall stores closed (copy)

JCPenney has been a Hanes Mall anchor since the shopping center opened in 1975. It reopens today after closing on March 19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

JCPenney plans to reopen its Hanes Mall store today as the retailer works through the early stages of its federal bankruptcy-protection case.

Store hours will be noon to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

JCPenney has been a Hanes Mall anchor since the shopping center opened in 1975. It closed on March 19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on retailing.

The retailer has been able to reopen the Hanes Mall location since May 8, when North Carolina entered Phase 1 of the COVID-19 recovery initiative that allowed non-essential business to re-open with some store-capacity restrictions.

“We are thrilled to welcome our associates and customers back to JCPenney in Winston Salem,” Jim DePaul, executive vice president of stores at JCPenney, said in a statement.

“We’re taking a strategic approach in reopening our stores nationwide, and will continue doing so in a phased approach based on guidance from the CDC and local and state mandates.”

Chris Saldaña, a senior corporate communications manager, said the Hanes Mall store is the only Triad store reopening for now, “but others in your area could soon follow.”

DePaul said that “our top priority remains on the health and safety of our associates, customers and communities. We want to ensure everyone is safe and feels comfortable as we continue to provide an engaging shopping experience.”

Employees at the store will be required to wear facial masks. In addition, the store will offer curbside pickup services, contact-less checkout areas, an extended return policy, and a longer time window to use customer rewards.

All five current or former Hanes Mall department-store anchors — counting Belk’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Sears — own or had owned their store properties and parking areas.

Sears sold its mall property to the real-estate arm of Novant Health Inc. for $14.5 million in October 2018.

Although Novant has signage at the front of the former Sears entrances, it has not disclosed its plans for the 175,000-square-foot store, the outparcel automotive store and the parking lots to the north and east of the mall stores.

JCPenney said in a bankruptcy-protection filing Monday — also submitted as a regulatory filing — that it plans to close 192 stores by the end of 2020 and an additional 50 by the end of 2021.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection Friday. It has not listed which stores it plans to close.

rcraver@wsjournal.com

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@rcraverWSJ

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