J.C. Penney Bankruptcy Could Affect 15 Maryland Stores: Report

Deb Belt

MARYLAND — The historic but struggling retailer J.C. Penney Co. on Friday filed for bankruptcy as the new coronavirus continues to take a toll on bricks-and-mortar retailers, CNN reported. A Reuters report said the department store chain will close permanently about 200 of its 850 stores, but it’s unclear if any of Maryland's 15 stores will be included.

J.C. Penney has Maryland locations in:

The 118-year-old chain based in Plano, Texas, was struggling before the business shutdowns associated with the pandemic. The company has about $4 billion in debt and has been edged out of the marketplace by e-commerce companies and discount bricks-and-mortar stores, Reuters said.

As J.C. Penney navigates bankruptcy proceedings, the company is working with creditors for a “debtor-in-possession loan,” the Reuters report said.

J.C. Penney is the third major retailer to seek bankruptcy protection since the pandemic began. The J.Crew Group filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, and Neiman Marcus said last week it was turning its business over to creditors who provided the company with $675 million in financing to continue operations.

» Read the full J.C. Penney report on Reuters.

Other chains that are closing some of their Maryland stores include J.Crew, Gap, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Kmart, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn and more.

The parent company for J.Crew, the preppy clothing retailer with four stores in Maryland, said last week it had filed for bankruptcy protection — the first major retailer to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began and caused businesses to close their doors.

Earlier this year Pier 1 closed half of its stores to "better align its business with the current operating environment." Nine Maryland stores, including shops in Nottingham, Rockville and Gambrills, were removed from the chain's website. The company confirmed on social media the stores removed from the website were slated for closure. Patch has posted the full list of the Maryland Pier 1 stores expected to close.

Macy's in February said it would close at least one of its 16 stores in the state.

A record 9,300-plus store closings were announced in 2019, and that number could be even higher in 2020, according to a report by Business Insider.

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This article originally appeared on the Annapolis Patch