Signage is displayed outside a JC Penney Co. store in Chicago, Illinois.

Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

J.C. Penney is trying to avoid a major blow to its recovery prospects from the coronavirus pandemic — losing Sephora. 

The ailing retail giant has filed a temporary restraining order against Sephora in an attempt to prevent the makeup seller from leaving J.C. Penney stores, which are in the process of being reopened

“JCPenney filed a temporary restraining order so Sephora could not prevent JCPenney from reopening Sephora inside JCPenney (SiJCP) locations,” Penney spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said in a statement Monday. “We remain committed to working together to drive sustainable, profitable growth, as SiJCP continues to be a beauty destination that serves millions of customers each year.”

Sephora and Penney have had a joint enterprise operating agreement since Feb. 1, 2009, according to the April 27 court filing. Sephora was found to have “threatened imminent termination” of the contract, which would cause Penney to suffer “irreparable injury,” including a loss of business opportunities, the filing said. 

A Sephora USA Inc. store stands inside the new J.C. Penney Co. store during the grand opening in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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