Employees wait to learn if JC Penney stores in Oklahoma will close

Employees of the 12 J-C Penney stores in Oklahoma await word whether any of those places will be closed as part of the company’s bankruptcy announced over the weekend.

As part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the debtor in possession of the loans to the company is requiring that 150 to 250 locations be closed in order to pay the loan.  J.C. Penney has 846 stores and 85,000 employees.

The company said it plans to “accelerate” permanent store closings as part of its bankruptcy but declined to provide details on which locations it plans to shutter.

The company has 6 stores in Oklahoma City, 2 in Tulsa, one in Muskoge and one each in Lawton, Ardmore and Enid.

The move sets in motion the process of beginning permanent store closings as the retailer aims to stabilize its finances and avoid outright liquidation.

J.C. Penney proposed a restructuring plan that would shed billions of dollars in debt and allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a financially sustainable company.

But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones told J.C. Penney attorneys in a rare Saturday hearing that he has “concerns” that the company is not moving “fast enough.”

“I do think there is a genuine hope that the turnaround efforts will proceed, but it is kind of hard when people are prohibited from coming into your store and you can’t turn the lights on,” Jones said.

Source: USA Today.