JCPenney, which filed for bankruptcy last week, now says it plans to close nearly one-third of its stores amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
JCPenny will be left with about 600 stores after the planned 242 closures.
The retailer also says it is aiming to double its e-commerce business, which currently accounts for about 14 percent of its revenue.
“The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our families, our loved ones, our communities, and our country," said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, in a statement released on Friday, May 15. "As a result, the American retail industry has experienced a profoundly different new reality, requiring JCPenney to make difficult decisions in running our business to protect the safety of our associates and customers and the future of our company.
"Until this pandemic struck, we had made significant progress rebuilding our company under our Plan for Renewal strategy – and our efforts had already begun to pay off.
"While we had been working in parallel on options to strengthen our balance sheet and extend our financial runway, the closure of our stores due to the pandemic necessitated a more fulsome review to include the elimination of outstanding debt.
“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 was founded in 1902.
J.Crew and Neiman Marcus also announced bankruptcies this month.
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