JCPenney and Gordmans filing for bankruptcy, closing some stores

Gordmans in Saybrook Township faces potential liquidation and closure after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday.

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — JCPenney, a national chain with more than 800 stores, filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday — the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The JCPenney store, which has served as an anchor since the opening of the Ashtabula Mall, filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors in federal bankruptcy court.

"We are gradually reopening our doors in a phased approach that is based on guidance from state and local orders," according to an email from the company sent to the Star Beacon on Monday.

The email also included a list of opened stores and the JCPenney at Ashtabula Towne Square was not on the list. It also said it planned to close stores, but specific locations and timing would be disclosed in coming weeks.

JCPenney isn't the only local store facing closures.

Stage Stores, Inc., the parent company of Gordmans in the Saybrook Plaza, also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. According to a press release, the company will simultaneously solicit bids to acquire its assets while also initiating an "orderly wind-down of operations" should no acquisition become finalized.

Gordmans escaped liquidation previously and was on track to close all stores in 2017 until Stage Stores purchased the retailer.

Stage Stores then launched Gordmans as an off-price retailer and spent the next two years converting 25 of its Peebles stores in Ohio to Gordmans, including the location at 2456 W. Prospect Road. Peebles closed June 15, 2019, giving Stage Stores time to prepare for the grand opening two weeks later. 

According to the company website, Stage Stores Inc., operates 738 stores in 42 states, under Gordmans and other brands. Stage Stores said in its press release its first phase of about 557 stores would re-open on May 15 to "commence the liquidation of its inventory."

On Monday, Gordmans in the Saybrook Plaza was not open, no one at Stage Stores could be reached for comment.

According to the Commerce Department's report Friday on retail purchases, sales are down 22 percent.


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