It's been a tough road for local retail, and the coronavirus is only making it worse.

Yesterday, J.C. Penney announced that they would be closing almost a third of their locations across the country. In 2015 the retail company closed its store at the Hudson Valley Mall in Kingston. Since then, there have been numerous closings and layoffs across the country, including the shuttering of the Palisades Center location in 2017.

Through it all, J.C. Penney stores in Poughkeepsie and Middletown have survived, but this new announcement has some people wondering if we may see more store closures in our area soon. The company says it will be permanently shut down 242 locations across the country in stages later this year.

There may be some good news, however. According to Yahoo Finance, Amazon is rumored to be in talks to buy stores from J.C. Penney. The tech giant is said to have a team in place at J.C. Penney headquarters discussing the purchase this week. During the pandemic, Amazon is in a position to use its war chest to pick up distressed companies at a deep discount. The company is also rumored to be purchasing AMC Theaters.

What would an Amazon department store look like in the Hudson Valley? It seems that the company is interested in breaking into the clothing business. Selling clothes online has been an uphill battle. Being one of the items that people still prefer to see in person before purchasing, Amazon really needs to open physical locations in order to make a serious impact on the industry.

Amazon has already shown interest in moving into the Hudson Valley. A massive Amazon warehouse was approved in Orange County earlier this year.

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