As J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q) continues to maneuver through the complexities of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its efforts to streamline its operations back into a financially sound business, 136 of its stores, earmarked for closure, began liquidation sales today. At the same time, the few remaining stores still closed due to COVID-19 are in the process of reopening for customers, with nearly 100% of the company's North American outlets currently operational.
As part of its Chapter 11 reorganization, J.C. Penney is planning to close 242 of its stores in total. The closures will occur in several waves during 2020 and 2021, targeting mostly outlets producing less than average sales or having other disadvantages, such as poor location. Whether the closure plan will be affected by a potential buyout of the retailer by its landlords or other third-party purchasers remains to be seen.
The 136 stores beginning their liquidation sales today are listed on the J.C. Penney blog for customer convenience. Most products at the locations are marked down anywhere from 25% to 40% off their regular retail prices. Fine jewelry and window treatments are discounted 40%, while the maximum discount on sunglasses and swimwear is 30%.
The company said, "Due to the name recognition and goodwill of this brand, we encourage consumers to shop early to take advantage of the best selection of products as we expect merchandise to sell very quickly." From June 25 forward, all sales will be considered final, with no returns possible from that point. Salons in the closing stores will continue to operate through mid-August, though this may vary by location depending on health department rules or the speed of closure.