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Legendary department store chain closes stores in masses



Many large retailers have long been losing a competition to online retailers. The coronavirus pandemic put an end to this issue.
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One of America's oldest and largest department store chains, JCPenney, said it would close a total of 165 outlets by March 2021. The company, which recently emerged from bankruptcy proceedings, is now taking all necessary steps to optimize its business and financial restructuring - a process that began back in June.

Initially, the chain announced its intention to close 150 stores, but later it added to the list 15 more. According to the chain's statement, the stores would be closed at the end of this month and will begin liquidation sales and be closed to the public in mid-end of March 2021. Overall, the chain's management is optimistic and believes that JCPenney will improve and return to profitability shortly.

JCPenney traces its history back to 1902. What started as one small dry goods store eventually grew into a vast chain of 840 department stores. But the problems began long before the coronavirus pandemic. In 2012, Ron Johnson, then JCPenney's CEO, undertook a dramatic restructuring. In theory, a good start brought the company only severe problems and a 24% drop in sales because it did not consider many realities of today's market.

By early 2020, JCPenney's stock price had fallen below $1, risking delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. Then, when stores across the country began closing en masse for quarantine, the company was forced to start bankruptcy protection proceedings and changed owners. Today it is owned by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. in the real estate industry.

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