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Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

JCPenney is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as tomorrow, and reportedly is negotiating a $450 million debtor-in-possession financing package with existing lenders.

Why it matters: This would be the month's third major retail bankruptcy, following J. Crew and Neiman Marcus, but by far the largest. The 118 year-old department store has 846 stores that had employed around 90,000 people.

The bottom line: "The U.S. economy is facing structural uncertainty as states look to reopen businesses, but the coronavirus continues to spread. ... For retailers, there is also uncertainty as to whether — and how — shoppers will want to visit their stores. For those planning bankruptcy, those questions have added complexity as they negotiate loans with their lenders to help finance operations under court protection." — Lauren Hirsch, CNBC

Go deeper: The plight of restaurants and retail in the face of coronavirus

Go deeper

Masks, dorm decor and more: Retailers target coronavirus back-to-school shopping

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With colleges and grade schools going virtual, marketers are trying to come up with ways to pry consumers' wallets open during the back-to-school season.

Between the lines: Retail sales in July came in higher than they were in February, before the pandemic sent stores and restaurants closing en masse, the Commerce Department reported Friday morning.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 mins ago - Technology

AI could end foreign-language subtitles

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AI companies are developing methods to translate and synthesize voices in ads, movies and TV.

Why it matters: The advances in voice synthesis could help fix bad movie dubbing — and they come as international content is becoming increasingly important to studios and streaming platforms as part of the globalization of entertainment.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 9 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.