Struggling JCPenney Temporarily Shutters All Stores Amid Coronavirus Crisis

JCPenney is temporarily shuttering all of its stores and corporate offices due the coronavirus crisis, the Plano, Texas-based company revealed today.

Both stores and offices will close at 7 p.m. tonight, with plans to reopen on April 2. Customers can continue to shop through the JCPenney website and app.

“With the effects of the outbreak being felt more each day, our primary concern and area of focus is and has been on the health and safety of our associates, our customers and our communities,” said Jill Soltau, CEO of JCPenney. “We know this is a critical, unprecedented time and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted.”

The retailer’s fleet includes about 850 stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, with roughly 90,000 associates employed. The company said it will continue to monitor the situation and will reassess or adjust its policies depending upon how developments unfold.

The coronavirus outbreak is the most recent in a series of hurdles for JCPenney, which has been struggling amid an evolving retail picture. Problems such as sliding sales, numerous leadership changes and increased digital competition have scared off investors. This has sent the company’s stock below $1 — and put it at risk of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. In Wednesday afternoon trading, JCPenney shares were valued at just 42 cents apiece, down more than 18% from Tuesday.

In hopes of returning to its former glory days, the retailer has rolled out a series of new offerings in recent months, including dipping its toes into the outdoor and consignment markets. Earlier this month, it launched a curbside pickup program at 50 stores across the country.

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