// US retail mainstay JC Penney files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation
// It is expected to shed some of its 850 stores and made thousands of its 90,000 workforce redundant
Major department store JC Penney has become the fourth prominent American retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation during the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of its reorganisation, the 118-year-old retailer said late on Friday it would close some of its stores and would disclose details and timing in the coming weeks.
JC Penney is one of the most well-known retailers in the US, with 850 stores and nearly 90,000 workers.
It said it had received $900 million in financing to help it operate during the restructuring.
JC Penney joins fellow department store chains Stage Stores and Neiman Marcus and fashion retailer J.Crew in filing for bankruptcy reorganisation.
Many other retailers in the US are expected to follow.
Many experts are pessimistic about JC Penney’s survival even as it sheds its debt and shrinks the number of its stores.
Its fashion and home offerings have struggled for years. Moreover, its middle-to-low income customers have been the hardest hit by massive layoffs during the pandemic.
Many of them will likely shop more at discounters – if they shop at all, analysts say.
The pandemic has put department stores deep in peril as they see their sales evaporate with extended closures.
Even as retailers like JC Penney start to reopen in states like Texas and Florida that have relaxed their lock downs, they’re also facing Herculean challenges in making shoppers feel comfortable to be in public spaces.
The retailer was founded in 1902 when James Cash Penney started a dry good store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
with PA Wires