They have become yet another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailer J.C. Penney has officially declared bankruptcy.

Another major retailer is one step closer to closing down. J.C. Penney had been struggling prior to the coronavirus outbreak, that along with having to shut down due to the pandemic, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

If your keeping score at home, the 118 year old retailer joins two other retail giants like J.Crew and Neiman Marcus who have already declared bankruptcy since the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to patch.com, the retailer, which operates some 850 stores around the country, and seven right here in Connecticut, may close up to 200 of it's stores in phases. It's not clear if any of their Connecticut stores will be affected, but the company said it will disclosing that information, and the timing of the closures within the next few weeks.

J.C. Penny operates seven stores in Connecticut including stores in the Danbury Fair Mall, and the Brass Mill Center in Waterbury.

J.C. Penney's CEO Jill Soltau explained what's happening with the retailer to foxbusiness.com:

Penney’s had been making efforts to revive the business but the coronavirus created unprecedented challenges. The restructuring agreement is also designed to help us navigate through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Penney's will continue fulfilling online orders and offering contactless curbside pickup service at its open stores.

As a result, the American retail industry has experienced a profoundly different new reality, requiring J.C.Penney to make difficult decisions in running our business to protect the safety of our associates and customers and the future of our company.

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