JCPenney is selling its three private jets to cut costs after its CEO flees

  • JCPenney is selling three of its private jets. 
  • Penney's estimated that these jets cost the business between $5 million to $10 million a year.
  • It expects to receive around $20 million from their sale.

JCPenney is reining in its playboy lifestyle to cut costs. 

Less than a month after its famed CEO, Marvin Ellison, fled to Lowe's, JCPenney announced that it would be selling off some of its most luxurious assets.

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Unbeknown to some, the retailer has a fleet of private jets, consisting of a 2001 Gulfstream IV-SP, a 2009 Gulfstream 450, and a 2010 Gulfstream 450, Dallas News reported.

In a court filing released on Thursday, the company estimated that the running cost of these planes is about $5 million to $10 million a year. An expense that the company, which is saddled with $4.1 billion of long-term debt, simply can't afford to have. 

"JCPenney is pursuing the sale of its corporate aircraft as part of an ongoing Company effort to manage expenses across all aspects of the business. The potential sales are an opportunity to further streamline operations by eliminating aviation-related ownership and maintenance costs," a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider. 

Penney's estimated in the filing that it will receive around $20 million from the sale of the jets. 

Ellison has been required to participate in a scheme known as the 'Key Associate Protection Program' whereby he had to use the company jet for all business and personal travel for security reasons.

He was the first CEO to have his personal use of the aircraft capped at $150,000 each year, Dallas News reported. Beyond that, he had to foot the bill.

Ellison was poised to lead the company through a turnaround but jumped ship at a tumultuous time, analysts say. 

"The departure of Marvin Ellison from JCPenney could not have come at a worse time for the beleaguered department store chain. The turnaround program that Ellison put in place has partly delivered but is still far from complete," Neil Saunders of GlobalData Retail said in a note to clients after his resignation was announced. 

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