We’re actually talking about two companies in this article. One which has admitted defeat and has declared bankruptcy and one which is most likely going to declare bankruptcy but has yet to do so.

First, let’s talk about the one that declared bankruptcy – JCPenney’s. The huge chain department store that sells clothes, shoes, purses, decor and so much more has been struggling for years. This company filed for bankruptcy back in 2020, but before they took this course of action, there were warning signs.

While JCPenney didn’t come out and say they were struggling, if you visited a retail store, you may have noticed a lack of products on store shelves or missing sizes in some brands that seemed to sell out quickly. This is a sign that vendors weren’t being paid or weren’t being paid in a timely manner, and these vendors were hesitant to continue doing business with the retail store.

As a result of their problems, JCPenney’s CreditRiskMonitor FRISK Score was lowered to 1, which is a big sign that bankruptcy is on the horizon. 

Now, another large and popular retail chin’s FRISK Score has been lowered to a 1. That retail chain is Joann, which is also known to many as Joann Fabrics. The chain sells craft supplies, obviously including fabric, as well as a selection of home decor and even some kids toys.

Mark Self, CEO of Vector Textiles, believes that Joann’s problem is three fold. He said, “A specialty store specializing in crafts and sewing whose customer base is dwindling, no CEO and $1B in debt…sounds like liquidation time to me.”

How are other similar stores staying afloat? Aptos Vice President compared Joann to Michael’s another craft store that sells many similar products. She wrote, “Michael’s recently invested in revamping stores, streamlining checkout, upping their loyalty game.” She believes Joann should follow Michael’s example by “getting smart and streamlined and simple about the offer to customers.”

Having recently visited both a Michael’s store and a Joann store, I can agree that Michael’s deals are simpler and easier to understand as opposed to all the fine print at Joann about what items are eligible for deals. Also, my local Michael’s store has self checkout options, which meant there was no line, meanwhile, my local Joann store doesn’t have that option, which meant waiting much longer for an open register.