It was a tumultuous year for JCPenney, with the department store going bankrupt in the spring, and the summer looking uncertain whether they would be bought out or left to fade away in 2020.
However, by the fall, King of Prussia Mall-owner Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management had secured a deal to become the new owners.
Now as the year draws to a close, JCPenney has exited Chapter 11 court, as reported by Rick Green and Jeremy Hill of Bloomberg.
Things will change, as getting back to normal are slow. They plan to take the next few months to reorganize before officially opening their doors again some time in the first quarter of 2021.
Analysts predict to see some more losses as the dust settles, with some additional stores expected to shutter for good, and others likely needing to downsize.
Despite these potential snags, Simon Property Group’s chief executive officer, David Simon, released an optimistic statement on the group’s decision to purchase the department store, saying, “We have always been firm believers in JCPenney, and are very pleased to help preserve this iconic institution and save tens of thousands of jobs.”
That being said, JCPenney will still face a difficult battle with COVID continuing to wreak havoc on the retail business.
Some areas have once again gone back into lockdown, stifling sales for businesses and disrupting work for many employees.
Even prior to the pandemic, JCPenney was already struggling, with COVID merely pushing them over the edge into bankruptcy. With vaccines not expected to roll out to the public until the summer, JCPenney won’t be facing an easy market once their doors reopen.
Former department store executive Jan Rogers Kniffen believes JCPenney still offers a lot of value to malls, though. “They basically got a low-cost option on what they can do with all those JCPenney properties,” said Kniffen. “If you’re in that mall, you’re certainly better off with JCPenney operating than with a dark box.”
You can read more about what the future holds for JCPenney by reading Bloomberg’s article by clicking here.