IN MAY, JCPenney announced it was filing for bankruptcy, the latest retail victim of an economy in which customers routinely order stuff online instead of visiting shopping malls. Add covid-19 on top of that, and you get . . . the year 2020.
But apparently there are plans in the works to make a Lazarus out of JCPenney yet. And they involve another retailer: Belk.
“Big Apple-based Sycamore Partners has offered $1.75 billion to buy the 118-year-old department store chain with plans to merge it with Belk. Sycamore sees JCPenney helping to revive the North Carolina-based Belk, a struggling department store chain with 300 stores located mostly in the South,” The New York Post reported.
The source who tipped off reporters at the Post said, “JCP is the lifeboat for Belk, which wants to compete with Macy’s nationally.”
Roll the dice, y’all. Some retailers have managed to turn things around—see Best Buy. The electronics retailer is sometimes cited as an example of a store that was able to navigate away from the drain and toward good business practices.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if JCBelk or BelPenney can do the same. Some of us hope a merger leads to something good. Because buying jeans online is getting harder and harder after the “pandemic 15.” Pounds, that is.