Plano, Texas (WNews)- US clothing company, J.C. Penney, weighed down by debt and battered by the coronavirus, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
On March 15, as businesses such as stores were ordered closed in many states, the chain closed all of its stores and furloughed its employees. By mid-May, it had reopened less than 5% of them. Penney’s became the fourth major national retailer to file for bankruptcy in May 2020.
Sales at J.C Penney have fallen annually since 2016. Its roughly 860-store footprint is less than a quarter of its store base in 2001. The company’s nearly $11 billion in sales the last fiscal year is almost a third of its sales the same year.
The Plano, the Texas-based retailer, which was founded more than a century ago, employed roughly 90,000 full- and part-time employees as of February.
Department stores have struggled to maintain a foothold in U.S. retail. Brands sidestepped them by selling to shoppers directly. Online retailers have lured shoppers away from malls in which many department stores are based in.
J.C Penney skipped a $12 million interest payment on April 15, starting the clock on a 30-day grace period. On Friday, it said it made a $17 million interest payment that was due May 7
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