J.C. Penney emerging from bankruptcy could save 60,000 jobs


(NEW YORK) — After a court handed down an approval of its sale, pandemic-battered retailer J.C. Penney Co. is poised to emerge from bankruptcy ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the sale of the beleaguered retailer to two of the largest mall operators in the nation, as well as to its biggest lenders, J.C. Penney announced in a statement earlier this week.

The mall operators, Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group, are also some of J.C. Penney’s primary landlords. The deal is expected to save some 60,000 jobs.

The 118-year-old retail staple at malls across the U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in May as the COVID-19 pandemic clobbered a sector already struggling to keep up with the rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon.

J.C. Penney found itself among among a growing list of established brick-and-mortar companies filing for bankruptcy protections — along with Brooks Brothers and J. Crew — as the pandemic reshaped the retail world.

“Our goal from the beginning of this process has been to ensure J.C. Penney will continue to serve customers for decades to come and this Court approval accomplishes that objective,” J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau said in a statement announcing the sale.

“With the 2020 holiday season in full swing, we are excited to operate under the new ownership of Brookfield and Simon outside of Chapter 11 and under the J.C. Penney banner,” Soltau added. “We appreciate the efforts of the Court and the support of our creditors in this process and putting us in a strong position to build on J.C. Penney’s long track record of taking care of our associates, customers, vendor partners and communities.”

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