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J.C. Penney on the ropes; does mall fail if it goes down?

JC Penney
JC Penney

MASON CITY – News reports indicate this week that national retailer J.C. Penney may be near bankruptcy.

According to CNN Money, J.C. Penney’s stock “hit a 13-year low Wednesday as investors grow increasingly concerned about the future of the 112 year old iconic American retailer.”  Shares briefly dipped below $10 per share, prices not seen since 2000.

A JPMorgan analyst has reported that the company could run out of cash in 2014 if sluggish sales for the retailer do not improve soon.

CNN Money also reported that “The retailer’s fall from grace during the past decade has been dramatic,” noting that promises from a new CEO  “to remake J.C. Penney by eliminating discounts and bringing in new brands failed miserably.”

J.C. Penney is one of two anchors in Mason City’s Southbridge Mall, along with Younkers Department Store.  Many residents feel that if one or both anchors fail, Southbridge Mall would be in a dire situation.  With at least a dozen storefronts empty, the mall, which had its grand opening in 1985, has seen better days.

“The loss of an anchor store at Southbridge Mall could be difficult to fill as the city sprawls westward even as population continues to dwindle,” an observer noted.  “Indianhead shopping district is where all the new activity is headed.”

J.C. Penney stock (JCP) is up 10% today in early trading.


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