Friday, 5 June 2020

J.C. Penney begins permanent store closures at 154 locations

J.C. Penney revealed on Thursday the company is permanently closing 154 stores and will pursue store liquidations, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring plan.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy on May 15, has been making an effort to try and stabilize its finances. 

The initial list of proposed stores to be closed permanently includes stores across the U.S. including nine in California, nine in Ohio, eight in Indiana, eight in Florida, seven in Georgia, seven in New York, seven in Texas, six in Kentucky, six in Oklahoma, six in South Carolina, and six in Tennessee.

J.C. Penney said in its filing that store closing sales for the first round of store closures are expected to take 10-16 weeks to complete.

The department store chain previously said that it would close 242 locations for good, leaving about 600 open. The company expects additional phases of store closing sales will begin in the coming weeks. 

“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 the greater financial flexibility to allow us to continue serving our loyal customers for decades to come,” said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of J.C. Penney. 

“I am incredibly grateful to our talented associates for their ongoing dedication and their passion for meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations during this difficult and uncertain time. All impacted associates will be treated with the utmost consideration and respect.”

As of Thursday, the company had reopened nearly 500 stores since government officials eased Covid-19 restrictions. 

The 117-year-old department store chain was already facing financial pressure before the Covid-19 crisis hit. In its most recent quarter, same-store sales fell more than expected and its net loss nearly doubled.

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