JCPenney

The JCPenney store at Ashland Town Center Mall remains unopened as of Wednesday. The chain has filed for bankruptcy.

ASHLAND While JCPenney announced last week it would file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it has not announced which stores will close permanently.

The 118-year-old company said the stores that will close permanently will shut down in phases throughout the Chapter 11 process and details of the first phase will be disclosed in the coming weeks.

“The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our families, our loved ones, our communities, and our country,” said JCPenney CEO Jill Soltau in a statement to the Associated Press. “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.”

Penney said it has $500 million in cash on hand and has received commitments of $900 million in financing to help it operate during the restructuring. It said it will be looking at different options, including the sale of the company. The restructuring should reduce several billion dollars of its debt and provide more flexibility to navigate the financial fallout from the pandemic, Penney said.

The company’s website offers a complete list of Penney stores open throughout the country, as well as safety policies and procedures.

The store in the Ashland Town Center is listed as open, as are stores at the Florence Mall and Jefferson Mall in Louisville. Ashland's store was not open to the public on Wednesday.

JCPenney, the largest retailer to file for bankruptcy reorganization since the pandemic, is the fourth major retailer to declare bankruptcy since the pandemic. Others include Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and Stage stores. Others are expected to follow, as United States retail sales fell by a record 16.4% from March to April.

 

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lward@dailyindependent.com

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