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242 stores to close in bankruptcy



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The coronavirus pandemic may have been the last straw for the struggling J.C. Penney company.

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Days after filing for bankruptcy, J.C. Penney says it plans to close more than a fourth of its stores. 

According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission on Monday, approximately 29% of the retailer’s 846 stores, or 242 locations, will close between the current fiscal year and next fiscal year. 

For the current fiscal year, 192 stores are expected to close and then 50 the following year, the document notes. After the closings, the company will have 604 remaining locations.

“The approximately 604 future fleet represent the highest sales-generating, most profitable, and most productive stores in the network,” J.C. Penney said in the SEC filing.

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Last week’s bankruptcy filing came after several years of declining sales and strategic missteps as J.C. Penney careened from one reinvention strategy to another.

The bankruptcy sets in motion the process of beginning permanent store closings as the retailer aims to stabilize its finances and avoid outright liquidation – a fate that chains such as Toys R Us, Payless ShoeSource and others haven’t been able to avoid. 

A list of which locations will close as part of J.C. Penney’s restructuring has not yet been released. 

According to the SEC filing, which outlines a “Plan for Renewal,” the exact number of stores that will remain “continues to evolve.”

J.C. Penney spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said approximately 115 more stores will reopen Wednesday after being closed since March because of COVID-19. Forty-one stores previously reopened.

Contributing: Nathan Bomey

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/18/jcpenney-store-closures-2020-bankruptcy-coronavirus/5214439002/





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