Pedestrians pass a JC Penney store in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
J.C. Penney said Wednesday that it has chosen not to make a roughly $12 million interest payment due on April 15, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on its business.
It is entering into a 30-day grace period “in order to evaluate certain strategic alternatives, none of which have been implemented at this time,” Penney said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
If the company does not make the payment within the 30-day period, it would result in an “event of default,” with respect to its 2036 senior notes, the department store chain said.
Among Penney’s options is filing for bankruptcy protection, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced the retailer to close all of its stores, Penney was already facing slumping sales and looming debt payments that include significant annual interest expenses.
“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created…