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JC Penney to close store at Salisbury Mall

SALISBURY — J.C. Penney will pull out of the Salisbury Mall this summer and close its store for good, employees confirmed today.
The retail giant’s departure from the mall has been rumored for months, following plans by Belk and Big Lots to leave the troubled shopping center. Both Belk and Big Lots will relocate near Interstate 85 this year.
J.C. Penney will close in early August and not relocate, employees said. The store employs about 35 people, most part-time.
Mall owner Igal Namdar could not immediately be reached for comment. His Namdar Realty Group, a New York real estate company, bought the mall for $2.5 million last year after it went into foreclosure.
Badcock Furniture recently signed a 10-year lease to fill the long-vacant Goody’s location in the mall, starting this summer. The Mulberry, Fla.-based company with about 40 stores in North Carolina could not immediately be reached for comment about J.C. Penney’s departure.
J.C. Penney’s decision to close its doors in Salisbury comes after a one-two punch of the falling mall occupancy rate and the corporation’s own financial struggle.
The Plano, Tex.-based department store chain reported a net loss of $552 million for its fourth quarter.
Total sales for the fourth quarter decreased 28.4 percent to $3.884 billion. Comparable store sales declined 31.7 percent. Internet sales through jcp.com were $315 million in the fourth quarter, decreasing 34.4 percent from last year.
For the full fiscal year ending Feb. 2, J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $985 million or $4.49 per share.
The Salisbury Belk plans to move this fall to a new store under construction on Julian Road. Big Lots is scheduled to relocate to the refurbished Office Depot building on East Innes Street.
Read more in Thursday’s Post.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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