J.C. Penney announces more closures

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J.C. Penney announced it will close seven more stores in Michigan. Courtesy J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney announced plans to close 13 more stores as it files for bankruptcy, including seven in Michigan.

The announcement follows the company previously planning to close 242 stores nationwide in 2020 as part of a restructuring strategy.

The most recent string of closures, pending court approval, includes J.C. Penney stores in Greenville, Owosso, Bay City, Alma, Big Rapids, Mount Pleasant and Okemos.

Other stores closing are in Sunnyside, Washington; Omak, Washington; Hyattsville, Maryland; Bay Shore, New York; Poughkeepsie, New York; and Concord California.

Store sales are expected to begin on or around July 3.

As of June 17, JCPenny commenced store closing sales at 136 stores across the country. Those closures included Michigan stores in Alma, Alpena, Cadillac and Petoskey.

According to a statement from the company, these decisions were made based on a comprehensive evaluation of the company’s retail footprint and a careful analysis of store performance and future strategic fit for J.C. Penney.

In a previous statement to the Business Journal, J.C. Penney said implementing the financial restructuring will allow it to accelerate its store optimization strategy. Stores will close in phases throughout the Chapter 11 process.

J.C. Penney said it filed for bankruptcy because of strains put on the retail industry by COVID-19. The company entered into a restructuring support agreement with first-lien lenders holding approximately 70% of J.C. Penney’s first-lien debt to reduce the company’s outstanding debt and strengthen its financial position.

The RSA is expected to reduce several billion dollars of debt, provide increased financial flexibility to help the company navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and better position J.C. Penney for the long term.

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