J.C. Penney Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Nicole Charky

CULVER CITY, CA — Department store giant J.C. Penney is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has plans to close stores, the company announced Friday.

Stores are expected to close in phases. It's unclear which stores will close in the Southland.

"We will disclose specific store details and the timing in the coming weeks," Dione Martin told Patch.

"As part of its ongoing transformation, JCPenney will reduce its store footprint to better align its business with the current operating environment," according to a news release.

The company's financial restructuring is due to the pandemic and its impact on retailers.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our families, our loved ones, our communities, and our country," said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, in a news release.

"As a result, the American retail industry has experienced a profoundly different new reality, requiring JCPenney to make difficult decisions in running our business to protect the safety of our associates and customers and the future of our company," Soltau 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.

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.

In Southern California, stores are located in Culver City, Torrance, Brea, Riverside, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Chino, Carson, Montebello, Lakewood, Carson, West Covina, Glendale, Santa Ana and Westminster.

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This article originally appeared on the Culver City Patch