JC Penney is permanently closing 154 stores and will pursue store liquidations, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring plan. The department store chain had previously planned to close 242 locations, leaving about 600 open. The company expects additional phases of store closing sales tol begin in the coming weeks. It believes that its store optimization strategy is vital to ensuring it emerges from both Chapter 11 and the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger retailer with greater financial flexibility to allow it to continue serving its loyal customers for decades.
The company had reopened nearly 500 stores since government officials eased COVID-19 restrictions. The 117-year-old department store chain was already facing financial pressure before the COVID-19 crisis hit. In its most recent quarter, same-store sales fell more than expected and its net loss nearly doubled.