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Why Bankrupt JCPenney Just Launched a New Brand

As it undergoes bankruptcy proceedings, JCPenney has added a new label to its brand arsenal.

The company announced yesterday the debut of Linden Street, a bedding collection that marks a “significant enhancement to its home merchandise division.” The launch comes less than two weeks after the retailer filed for Chapter 11 protection, aimed at allowing it to develop a restructuring plan and rework some of its finances.

In a statement, JCPenney wrote that it was “on a mission to create more sustainable, responsibly sourced products manufactured in clean, healthy environments, and the Linden Street bedding collections are a big step in that direction.”

According to the struggling department store, the new product launch is part of its Plan for Renewal strategy, which is focused on “driving traffic, offering compelling merchandise, providing an engaging experience, fueling growth and building a results-minded culture.”

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Last week, the Plano, Texas-based chain informed the Securities and Exchange Commission of its plans to shutter 242 of its 846 doors, or about 29% of its brick-and-mortar fleet, as part of that transformation. It anticipates closing 192 units by February 2021, or the end of the current fiscal year. An additional 50 locations will shut down the following fiscal year. At that point, JCPenney expects to have about 604 stores left. (It has not yet revealed which outposts will be permanently closed.)

JCPenney, which was founded 118 years ago, has a roster of vendors that includes major industry players like Nike, Adidas and New Balance. The value of its assets range from $1 billion to $10 billion — the same as its estimated liabilities, the company said in its bankruptcy filing. It further noted that it had $500 million in cash at hand and received debtor-in-possession financing commitments of $900 million.

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