The decades-old retail store #JCPenny has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
On Friday, the well-known clothing store submitted the filing following the massive hit in sales the store has received amid the coronavirus outbreak. Aside from that, the company is also years in debt and is preparing to close a slew of stores in order to fight going bankrupt. USA Today reports at the end of 2019, the company had 845 stores, according to the real estate database CoStar Portfolio Strategy.
It looks like it’s only been a long-time-coming for the retailer. The company has been experiencing low numbers of sales for the past several years without a successful rebranding strategy. In less than nine years, JCPenny has lost $4.45 billion. However, on Friday, the company released a statement about its working with its financial creditors to create a plan that would rebuild the store and get rid of some of the billions of dollars in long-standing debt. It could work, but JCPenny will have to get approval from a judge who could just force the company to shut down completely.
“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,” CEO Jill Soltau said in a statement. At this time, JCPenny doesn’t want to reveal how many stores are expected to close down. For many of us, J.C. Penny has long been one of our retail go-to’s. Neil Saunders, managing director of Global Retail said J.C. Penny’s most vibrant and successful years were in the ‘80s. “If you go back to the ‘80s, J.C. Penney at that point in time was a family retailer that sold a lot of interesting products from fashion to homewares (and) was a destination for a lot of consumers to go and do their shopping,” said Saunders.
“J.C. Penney has been losing shoppers, it’s been losing market share, and it’s been losing sales over a very long period of time because the products it provides and the way in which it provides them has just become increasingly irrelevant to consumers.”