J.C. Penney officials have remained tight-lipped since announcing last month that up to 140 stores would soon close because of slowing traffic and sales.
The announcement of closings is supposed to come by the middle of March, and investment research firm Morningstar Credit Ratings has identified 39 stores likely to be shuttered based on below-average sales.
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Even so, up to 100 more locations are expected to close their doors for good, so local store officials await their fate. To this point, J.C. Penney hasn’t publicly identified any stores that will close.
The 39 stores that were identified had weaker sales per square foot ($120 in 2015) than J.C. Penney’s national average.
When J.C. Penney announced late last month that closures were coming, company officials said the stores most at risk either require a significant capital investment or have sales lower than the company average.
“Consumers now seem willing to pay more for healthier food and better or new technologies and appear to be prepared to sacrifice their apparel budget to do so,” Morningstar equity analyst Bridget Weishaar said in the report. “Department stores have been losing market share, falling to 3.6 percent from 5.2 percent of total retail sales during the past five years alone.”
We haven’t made the necessary investments in our store fleet the way we should.
J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison
J.C. Penney had 1,014 stores at the start of the year, with CEO Marvin Ellison saying the company’s footprint was too large: “We haven’t made the necessary investments in our store fleet the way we should.”
The only Florida store among the 39 on the Morningstar list is at the Southland Mall in Cutler Bay in Miami-Dade County.
In addition to DeSoto Square and Westfield Sarasota, there are four other J.C. Penney locations in the Tampa Bay area: Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, Countryside Mall in Clearwater, Westshore Plaza in Tampa and in the Brandon Town Center.
Morningstar’s list of likely J.C. Penney stores that will close
Capital City Mall – Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Coastal Grand Mall – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Country Club Mall – LaVale, Maryland
Crossroads Center – Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Destiny USA – Syracuse, New York
El Con Center – Tucson, Arizona
Glenbrook Square Mall – Fort Wayne, Indiana
Great Northern Mall – North Olmsted, Ohio
Greenville Mall – Greenville, North Carolina
Hamilton Place – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Indiana Mall – Indiana, Pennsylvania
Kitsap Mall – Silverdale, Washington
Maine Mall – South Portland, Maine
Mall at Barnes Cross – Tupleo, Mississippi
The Mall of New Hampshire – Manchester, New Hampshire
Montgomery Mall – North Wales, Pennsylvania
Mount Shasta Mall – Redding, California
Muncie Mall – Muncie, Indiana
North Riverside Park Mall – North Riverside, Illinois
Northtowne Mall – Defiance, Ohio
Oxford Valley Mall – Middle Township, Pennsylvania
Palisades Center – West Nyack, New York
Park City Center – Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Penn Square Mall – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Pinnacle Hills Promenade – Rogers, Arkansas
Potomac Mills – Woodbridge, Virginia
Quaker Bridge Mall – Lawrenceville, New Jersey
South Plains Mall – Lubbock, Texas
Southdale Center – Edina, Minnesota
Southland Mall – Cutler Bay, Florida
Tifton Plaza – Tifton, Georgia
West Covina Mall – West Covina, California
West Ridge Mall & Plaza – Topeka, Kansas
Westfield Trumbull – Trumbull, Connecticut
Westfield Wheaton – Wheaton, Maryland
Westminster Mall, Westminster, California
Windsor Square – Matthews, North Carolina
Wyoming Valley Mall – Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Yorktown Center – Lombard, Illinois