Diminishing JC Penney downtown locations

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Diminishing JC Penney downtown locations

Post by dooneyt63 »

With the latest round of store closings, JC Penney, one of the last major retailers to hold a significant downtown presence, is shuttering six plus downtown locations. Most are in small towns. How many are still open (and, hopefully, viable)? I know they occasionally moved a successful, longtime downtown store to a mall as late as the 1980's when some small towns were rejuvenated by new industry or casinos and suddently flourished. An example of this would be Philadelphia, MS. These are just closures due to low traffic or excessive expense to make the stores fit the current model. It was always nice to be traveling and unexpectedly come upon one of these great old stores. Typically, they had been remodeled inside to approximate a more modern location, but frequently the exteriors were still somewhat vintage. Another great loss as historic American retail institituions continue to wither.
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Re: Diminishing JC Penney downtown locations

Post by rich »

The same question came up on Retail Watchers, but a number of downtown stores were mentioned--mostly small Western towns. A large fraction of the closings seem to be in small town malls (the places where these downtown stores usually were relocated). This shouldn't be a surprise given the high death rate among these small market shopping centers.
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Re: Diminishing JC Penney downtown locations

Post by Super S »

A fair number of the exteriors have retained their original signage through the years, but there are exceptions. Thief River Falls, MN actually has a "Funky P" in an oval still up on the side. And some have a common, current JCPenney sign. Pendleton, OR (which I have only seen in a recent picture) has a relatively cheap looking modern (white logo on reddish rectangle) JCPenney sign that doesn't even look like it is lighted at all.

It is interesting though how anything from the Funky P era and earlier has been pretty much eliminated from mall stores, save for some architectural details.

It seems like some of the stores in Oregon were viable due to not having much direct competition, but most of those markets have a Walmart, Kmart, or Fred Meyer nearby...
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