As J.C. Penney’s talks with potential buyers, including its largest landlords Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, have broken down for the moment, the company has 10 days to avoid the prospect of liquidation, reports The New York Times. If the company is unable to strike a deal with either potential buyers or creditors within that timeframe, the outcome would not be just additional lost jobs in an already beaten-down economy, but hundreds of empty anchor stores around the country.
Whether those stores could find takers in an environment where big retailers are falling down one after another and many alternative tenants are prevented from operating, let alone expanding their footprints, remains a question. In recent months, big regional mall owners have started partnering with both retailers and industrial tenants to put distribution centers inside former big-box and department stores, including Simon’s deal with Amazon. But how many of those distribution centers would Amazon and other retail e-commerce operations ultimately need? And what will happen to all the J.C. Penney stores that might be closed as a result of liquidation?
As we wait for the outcome on the retailer’s ultimate fate, here’s a map of states with the greatest number of J.C. Penney locations.