The closures are part of the decision announced last month to close nearly 14 percent of the company’s store portfolio. According to J.C. Penney’s spokesman Joey Thomas, the stores that are targeted for closure have generally shown poor performance.
The plan is to try and better align “its physical store footprint with its online presence to create a seamless experience.”
The closures have prompted owners and operators of malls such as Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and Simon Property Group to look for replacement tenants to fill the space made vacant by long-time anchors.
The changing retail landscape has forced them to think outside of the box for new tenants for these spaces.
“Other uses include value-oriented big-box locations such as TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Nordstrom Rack, Ollie’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods,” explained retail consultant Jeff Green.
“Also, taking a vacant department store and repurposing it into a movie theater, restaurant hub, or food hall is a trend that is gaining traction.”