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J.C. Penney will close Southridge store


J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced today that it will close its Southridge Mall store in an effort to improve earnings in 2012.

A Penney’s spokesman said the store, which as 76 employees, will close by June 1. (Updated at 10:53 a.m. Jan. 24 with date of closing.)

J.C. Penney also has a department store at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines and a home store in Clive.

Penney’s moved from downtown Des Moines to Southridge in 1994. The shopping center is among the worst-performing regional malls owned by Macerich Co., an Iowa-bred and California-based company that bought the mall in 1999 and has managed it since that time.

The mall has seen its assessed value flip over the last decade. At the time of the purchase, the building was valued at $33.3 million and the 35 acres it sits on valued at about $4.2 million. For the 2010 tax year, the building was valued at $322,000 and the land valued at nearly $7.3 million. The reversal is a direct reflection of declining sales.

A Southridge spokesman said he could not comment on Penney’s closing or its impact on mall operations. The mall will be left with three anchors — Sears, Target and Younkers.

In its announcement, Penney’s said it also planned to close department stores in Morrow, Ga., West Dundee, Ill., High Point, N.C., and Culpeper, Va. It also plans to close a JCPenney Home Store in Duluth, Ga., and “wind down” its catalog operations.

Penney’s described all of the stores as being “underperforming properties.”

The company said the store closings and other actions should result in an increase to earnings of between $25 million and $30 million in 2012.

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