Does the world of retail really need J.C. Penney?
As the department store chain filed for bankruptcy protection Friday evening, some question if the company still has a place in American retail. Or if it could ever bounce back from the fatal blow it has been dealt during the coronavirus pandemic, which forced its roughly 850 stores shut temporarily.
“You have this issue of the middle collapsing,” said Steve Dennis, founder of retail group SageBerry Consulting and a Neiman Marcus strategy executive from 2004 to 2008. “I think conceptually there is only a place for one department store in the mall.”
Penney, which was born in 1913 catering to farmers in rural America, built an iconic…