J.Crew Group said on Friday that it was reopening 171 additional stores, following the temporary closure of all locations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, the retailer had reopened 315 locations, including both J.Crew and Madewell stores, representing 64 percent of its total store fleet. J.Crew Group began a phased reopening of its nearly 500 stores in May.
In a statement, the company said it is “taking a careful and deliberate approach to its store reopenings to ensure full implementation of appropriate safety protocols in line with CDC guidelines and government regulations to protect its customers, associates, and local communities.”
J.Crew Group has re-employed the majority of its store associates from furlough, as well as added approximately 400 positions at its Lynchburg, VA distribution center, which supports J.Crew Group's e-commerce businesses. The company has experienced a continued online sales momentum that was increasing even before stores were closed during the pandemic.
Still, dozens of J. Crew stores may close for good as a result of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
In fact, as part of its reorganization, J.Crew Group said Friday that it filed notice with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to reject 67 store leases unless it can reach better terms with the landlords.
“J.Crew Group continues to have productive discussions with landlords regarding lease terms that will further inform its real estate optimization strategy,” the company said in a statement.
The New York-based chain filed for bankruptcy protection early last month. The retailer was already facing financial pressure before the Covid-19 crisis hit.
J. Crew opened its first store in downtown Manhattan in 1989. Following many-year of expansion across the United States and abroad, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.
J. Crew was then taken private in 2011 by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners in an approximate $3 billion leveraged buyout.