Over a dozen JCPenney's closures have been delayed until May.
The 18 stores scheduled to close then "are part of a phased store optimization strategy" announced last year, the company told FOX Business.
In December, the retailer emerged from bankruptcy after striking a deal that leaves Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. as the owners and operators of the department store chain. Under the agreement, however, the company will operate under new ownership while still using the JCPenney banner.
As part of its financial restructuring, the company had planned to begin liquidation sales before the new year, with 15 stores slated to close by March.
"As part of our store optimization strategy that began in June with our financial restructuring, we have made the decision to close an additional 15 stores," JCPenney said in a statement to USA Today in December. "These stores will begin liquidation sales later this month and will close to the public in mid- to late March."
However, the company later determined to postpone the liquidation process to late January and end the sale later in May.
"Our go-forward store count is 672, and we have no plans to close additional stores at this time," a JCPenney spokesperson told FOX Business.
The company noted that a lot of factors play into the process for liquidation including third-party vendor acquisition, current leases and financial implications.
Several phases of store closures announced at the beginning of 2020 are part of its "optimization strategy that began in June," a note on the retailer's website reads.
In May, the company became one of the largest retailers to file for protection in bankruptcy court amid a wave of store closures forced by the spread of COVID-19 infections in the U.S.
The company plans to permanently close nearly a third of its 846 stores as part of its restructuring over the next two years, which would leave it with just over 600 locations.
Bankruptcy lawyer Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis said at a hearing in September that the rescue deal would save roughly 70,000 jobs.
FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.