Gordon Brothers, Hilco Merchant Resources, Great American Group and Tiger Group commenced store closing sales at 137 J. C. Penney stores across the United States. The closures are J.C. Penney’s first step in implementing a planned store optimization strategy. The company intends to reduce its store footprint and focus resources on its strongest stores and eCommerce offerings.

As previously reported, JCPenney entered into a restructuring support agreement with lenders holding approximately 70% of the company’s first lien debt to reduce the company’s outstanding indebtedness and strengthen its financial position. To implement the financial restructuring plan, the company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. JCPenney sought authorization at its second day hearing to access $900 million in debtor-in-possession financing from its existing first lien lenders, which included $450 million of new money.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas authorized JCPenney to access its debtor-in-possession financing, which includes $450 million of new money from its existing first lien lenders.