Editor’s Note: Since this story was published, JCPenney has released the following statement:
“As a public company, we routinely hire external advisors to evaluate opportunities for the Company. By working with some of the best firms in the industry, we are taking positive and proactive measures, as we have done in the past, to improve our capital structure and the long-term health of our balance sheet. We have no significant debt maturities coming due in the near term, and we continue to maintain a strong liquidity position. Also, given our strong liquidity position we can confirm that we have not hired any advisors to prepare for an in-court restructuring or bankruptcy.”
JCPenney has hired advisers to explore debt restructuring options, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The retailer holds approximately $4 billion in debt that will come due in the next several years.
The company is looking at options such as raising additional cash or negotiating with creditors to push out debt maturities, according to the sources. The restructuring plans are reportedly still at an early stage, and the company is allegedly looking to take steps in the coming months to avoid a bankruptcy filing further down the line.
JCPenney reported poor quarterly results in May, with same-store sales down 5.5% on a net loss of $154 million, nearly twice its losses from the same period last year in 2018. The retailer has more than $1.5 billion available under a revolving credit line and is looking for ways to curb costs. One step is closing 27 stores this year, including 18 full-line department stores and nine home and furniture stores.