JCPenney Announces 138 Stores Closing, Hilltop Mall Store in Richmond On the List

JCPenney, Morgningstar Credit Ratings, Richmond’s Hilltop Mall,
Image courtesy of JCPenney
Image courtesy of JCPenney

In February of 2017, the national retailers JCPenney had announced that it would refocus its operations toward profitability and as a result close between 130 and 140 stores across the country. On Friday, it announced that 138 stores will be closed across the country, and one Bay Area property is located in Richmond, at the Hilltop Mall at 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd.

The JCPenney store is the largest tenant in the 1.1 million square feet mall, taking over 200,000 square feet, according to Wikipedia. According to a prepared statement: “As part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability, JCPenney Company, Inc. will be closing 138 stores, one supply chain facility in Lakeland, Fla., and relocating one supply chain facility in Buena Park, Calif., to align the company’s physical store footprint and omnichannel network.”

The company also announced that 5,000 positions nationwide will be affected by the store closures, which should occur by June of 2017.

When reached to provide a comment about the book value of the location, Joey Thomas, corporate communications and public relations representative for JCPenney confirmed the company only owned the land and not the building itself.

“In 2016, we achieved our $1 billion EBITDA target and delivered a net profit for the first time since 2010; however, we believe we must take aggressive action to better align our retail operations for sustainable growth. During the year, it became evident the stores that could fully execute the company’s growth initiatives of beauty, home refresh and special sizes generated significantly higher sales, and a more vibrant in-store shopping environment,” said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney in a prepared statement. “We believe the relevance of our brick and mortar portfolio will be driven by the implementation of these initiatives consistently to a larger percent of our stores. Therefore, our decision to close stores will allow us to raise the overall brand standard of the company and allocate capital more efficiently.”

In a State of the City Address, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt explained that the mall is up for sale. While Macy’s, which has also decided to close a number of stores across the country remains the tenant in Richmond, the closure of JCPenney does introduce some new variables that the seller and the potential buyers have to consider.

Mayor Butt added that the site is targeted to be a major mixed-use development in the future.

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