Is Amazon conquering offline, with JCPenney acquisition?

A JCPenney store with a desolate car park
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Amazon is rumoured to be interested in acquiring (a part of) American department store chain JCPenney, which has been granted protection against creditors and is currently looking for a solution for its deep financial problems.

 

Mountain of debt

JCPenney has put forward a plan to close 242 of its 830 stores permanently as a part of a major restructuring plan. The company filed for a Chapter 11 procedure last Friday, which was granted just one day later, Chain Store Age reports. The procedure allows a company to continue its activities, while working on a plan to pay off its debts.

 

Amazon is said to have shown a keen interest in (part of) the chain of department stores, WWD has found out. For Jeff Bezos' company, this may be quite a lucrative way to boost its offline expansion plans.

 

JCPenney was already suffering before the corona crisis, but the pandemic made its situation even worse. As its total mountain of debt has accumulated to almost 7.5 billion euros, the chain's restructuring plan has to be quite formidable in order to lower this mountain somewhat.