It's been a rough time for retail: J.Crew Group and Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy this month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last Friday, JCPenney became the latest U.S. retailer to collapse, announcing that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
One of the country's largest apparel and home retailers, JCPenney has about 846 stores, an e-commerce site, and about 95,000 employees around the world. In March, JCPenney temporarily closed all of its stores and business offices. After extending its closures, it had to temporarily furlough the majority of its store associates and corporate workforce in April. While some of its stores have recently reopened, many are still closed. As part of its business plan, which was filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, JCPenney plans to permanently close 242 stores, or about 30 percent of its stores. It has yet to disclose which stores will be shuttered.
JCPenney, once a cornerstone of American retail, had been facing financial trouble long before the coronavirus. Last year, it suffered a 5.5 percent decline in first quarter sales and closed 27 stores across the country.
“Implementing this financial restructuring plan through a court-supervised process is the best path to ensure that JCPenney will build on its over 100-year history to serve our customers for decades to come," JCPenney CEO Jill Soltau said in a statement. "We look forward to emerging from both Chapter 11 and this pandemic as a stronger retailer," she added.
Retailers filing for bankruptcy aren't the only ones shuttering stores. In early May, Nordstrom announced that it is permanently closing 16 department stores.
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