In the largest retail casualty of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, JCPenney has filed for bankruptcy.
Founded in 1902, JCPenny has about 800 stores in the United States.
“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."
J.Crew and Neiman Marcus also announced bankruptcies this month.
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