UPDATE: J.C. Penney has filed for bankruptcyJ.C. Penney has filed for bankruptcy…
Original story below…
NOTTINGHAM, MD—A major U.S. retailer may be ready to fold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reuters reports that J.C. Penney is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this week with plans to permanently close about a quarter of its roughly 850 stores.
The 118-year-old department store chain has struggled with a nearly $4-billion debt load and competition from e-commerce firms and discount brick-and-mortar retailers even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.
The company, which is based in Plano, Texas, is in discussions with creditors for a so-called debtor-in-possession loan to bolster its finances while it navigates bankruptcy proceedings, Reuters said.
Founded in Kemmerer, Wyoming, in 1902 by James Cash Penney, the company grew to be the largest retailer in the country.
J.C. Penney passed a deadline for a $17 million debt payment Thursday and only has five days to catch up on it before it defaults, according to KCCI. The 30-day grace period for a $12 million payment J.C. Penney skipped mid-April closes next Friday.
Last week two national retailers, Neiman Marcus and J.Crew, both filed for bankruptcy protection.
J.C. Penney, which has one local location inside White Marsh Mall, announced in March that it would extend store closures and furlough workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.