JC Penney opens 150 stores ahead of major closings
JC Penney has opened up another 150 of its stores across 27 states. The move may be in line with the forced optimism with which the United States is trying to restart its economy, but for JC Penney the decision comes just a couple weeks after it filed for bankruptcy. In total, this brought the number of stores now open to 304, and the expectation is that it would have 500 operational by June 3. On the negative side, it's also planning to close nearly 200 stores permanently during 2020, once it decides which ones that will be. The current thinking is that it would shutter another 50 on a permanent basis during 2021. Common sense may argue that this shift towards irrelevance could take on a momentum of its own, but the company continues to soldier on, as if it weren't obvious that the time of the department store has both come and gone. What's more intriguing to follow at this point is if the story about Amazon potentially buying out the chain has legs. The online behemoth has been taking its first steps into the world of brick & mortar retail, but JC Penny would present a far more complex challenge. On the other hand, learning whether such rumors are true would be fascinating, because it would suggest that retail is on the verge of transforming itself in completely unexpected ways.