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JC Penney postponing store closures and liquidation sales

Maybe it's the memories that are bringing shoppers out to the closing J.C. Penney stores.

No matter the reason, customers are showing up.

As a result, the retailer has postponed the liquidation sales and closure dates for the 138 stores it plans to shutter this year, the company told CNBC exclusively.

"Ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic," J.C. Penney spokeswoman Daphne Avila said.

"This is not an uncommon response when you announce a store closure. Local shoppers will come out for a variety of reasons — some out of nostalgia and some who are just looking for a great deal."

It's "prudent to continue selling through our spring and summer merchandise at the current promotional levels and begin our liquidation sale a month later than originally planned," Avila continued.

The liquidation will now begin May 22 instead of April 17 as originally scheduled. The new closure date of July 31 is about six weeks later than J.C. Penney originally planned.

(For a full list of Penney's upcoming closures, see below)

Penney's said earlier this year that it would close 138 stores in a bid to cut costs and focus on its most profitable locations. The company expects the closures to save it some $200 million a year, which will help it whittle down the $4.3 billion it has in long-term debt.

J.C. Penney is far from the only retailer closing down stores. Macy's and Sears are also turning off the lights in shopping centers across the U.S. as they adjust to shoppers' changing tastes and the shift to online spending.

Still, Penney's CEO Marvin Ellison has remained adamant that physical stores matter. Not only do they offer shoppers a place to touch and feel items, but they serve as hubs for picking up, distributing and returning items.

"We believe the future winners in retail will be the companies that can create a frictionless interaction between stores and e-commerce," Ellison said in a statement announcing the company's closure plan in February.

—CNBC's Krystina Gustafson contributed to this report

List of JC Penney upcoming store closures

Mall/Shopping Center
City
State
Auburn Mall Auburn AL
Tannehill Promenade Bessemer AL
Gadsden Mall Gadsden AL
Jasper Mall Jasper AL
Military Plaza Benton AR
Chickasaw Plaza Blytheville AR
Riverview Mall Bullhead City AZ
Downtown Bishop Bishop CA
Sunwest Plaza Lodi CA
The Village at Orange Orange CA
Hilltop Mall Richmond CA
Fort Morgan Main St. Fort Morgan CO
Glenwood Springs Mall Glenwood Springs CO
St. Vrain Centre Longmont CO
Broadway Plaza Sterling CO
Connecticut Post Mall Milford CT
Jacksonville Regional Shopping Center Jacksonville FL
Palatka Mall Palatka FL
Dublin Mall Dublin GA
Macon Mall Macon GA
Milledgeville Mall Milledgeville GA
Gateway Plaza Thomasville GA
Tifton Mall Tifton GA
Downtown Decorah Decorah IA
Crossroads Mall Fort Dodge IA
Penn Central Mall Oskaloosa IA
Quincy Place Ottumwa IA
Snake River Plaza Burley ID
Eastland Mall Bloomington IL
Fulton Square Canton IL
Village Square Mall Effingham IL
Freestanding Macomb IL
Peru Mall Peru IL
Northland Mall Sterling IL
Centerpointe of Woodridge Woodridge IL
FairOaks Mall Columbus IN
Connersville Plaza Connersville IN
Huntington Plaza Huntington IN
Jasper Manor Center Jasper IN
Logansport Mall Logansport IN
Chanute Square Chanute KS
Downtown Great Bend Great Bend KS
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson KS
Freestanding Lawrence KS
Winfield Plaza Winfield KS
Cortana Mall Baton Rouge LA
Park Terrace DeRidder LA
North Shore Square Slidell LA
Berkshire Mall Lanesborough MA
Easton Marketplace Easton MD
Rockland Plaza Rockland ME
Lakeview Square Mall Battle Creek MI
Delta Plaza Escanaba MI
Westshore Mall Holland MI
Copper Country Mall Houghton MI
Birchwood Mall Kingsford MI
Midland Mall Midland MI
Cascade Crossings Sault Ste. Marie MI
Central Lakes Crossing Baxter MN
Five Lakes Centre Fairmont MN
Faribo West Mall Faribault MN
Irongate Plaza Hibbing MN
Hutchinson Mall Hutchinson MN
Red Wing Mall Red Wing MN
Downtown Thief River Falls Thief River Falls MN
Freestanding Winona MN
Maryville Center Maryville MO
Leigh Mall Columbus MS
Southgate Plaza Corinth MS
Greenville Mall Greenville MS
Bonita Lakes Mall Meridian MS
Oxford Mall Oxford MS
Capital Hill Mall Helena MT
Sidney Main Street Sidney MT
Albemarle Crossing Albemarle NC
Boone Mall Boone NC
Eastridge Mall Gastonia NC
Blue Ridge Mall Hendersonville NC
Monroe Crossing Monroe NC
Becker Village Mall Roanoke Rapids NC
Prairie Hills Mall Dickinson ND
Buffalo Mall Jamestown ND
Downtown Wahpeton Wahpeton ND
Fremont Mall Fremont NE
Downtown McCook McCook NE
Platte River Mall North Platte NE
Rio Grande Plaza Rio Grande NJ
The Boulevard Las Vegas NV
Dunkirk-Fredonia Plaza Dunkirk NY
Westfield Sunrise Massapequa NY
Palisades Center West Nyack NY
Findlay Village Mall Findlay OH
New Towne Mall New Philadelphia OH
Richmond Town Square Richmond Heights OH
St. Mary's Square St. Marys OH
Altus Plaza Altus OK
Ne-Mar Shopping Center Claremore OK
Ponca Plaza Ponca City OK
Pioneer Square Shopping Center Stillwater OK
Astoria Downtown Astoria OR
Grants Pass Shopping Center Grants Pass OR
La Grande Downtown La Grande OR
Downtown Pendleton Pendleton OR
The Dalles Main Street The Dalles OR
Columbia Mall Bloomsburg PA
Clearfield Mall Clearfield PA
King of Prussia Mall King of Prussia PA
Philadelphia Mills Philadelphia PA
Bradford Towne Centre Towanda PA
Lycoming Mall Pennsdale PA
Willow Grove Park Willow Grove PA
Citadel Mall Charleston SC
Town 'N Country Easley SC
Palace Mall Mitchell SD
Northridge Plaza Pierre SD
Watertown Mall Watertown SD
Yankton Mall Yankton SD
Greeneville Commons Greeneville TN
Knoxville Center Knoxville TN
County Market Place Union City TN
Athens Village Shopping Center Athens TX
Borger Shopping Plaza Borger TX
Heartland Mall Early TX
El Paso Downtown El Paso TX
Marshall Mall Marshall TX
McAllen Downtown McAllen TX
University Mall Nacogdoches TX
King Plaza Shopping Center Seguin TX
Bosque River Center Stephenville TX
New River Valley Mall Christiansburg VA
Tanglewood Mall Roanoke VA
Pilchuck Landing Snohomish WA
Pine Tree Mall Marinette WI
Marshfield Mall Marshfield WI
Richland Square Shopping Center Richland Center WI
Rapids Mall Wisconsin Rapids WI
Foxcroft Towne Center Martinsburg WV
Downtown Sheridan Sheridan WY
Source: JC Penney