J.C. Penney Closure Cuts Lakeforest Mall Anchor Tenants in Half
Company mum on potential sale of Gaithersburg space
J.C. Penney closed its Gaithersburg location on July 5.
Via J.C. Penney
J.C. Penney closed its Lakeforest Mall location in early July, the second of four anchor stores to shut its doors at the Gaithersburg shopping center.
Lord & Taylor will close in September. Sears and Macy’s remain open for now.
Each anchor company owns its individual space, separate from the core portion of the mall, which was recently sold to WRS Inc. Real Estate Investments.
J.C. Penney closed the store on July 5, spokeswoman Caitlin Piper confirmed in an email.
“This decision was the result of an ongoing review of our store portfolio, which includes assessing locations that may not meet our required financial targets or represent an opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset,” Piper wrote.
The company announced plans in March to close 27 stores, according to news reports.
The Gaithersburg location employed around 109 people, Piper wrote.
“It’s never easy taking actions that directly impact our valued associates and customers, however we feel this is a necessary business decision,” Piper wrote.
Piper added that employees may transfer to other stores or accept a severance package. All of the staff can partake in a free career training class to hone resume writing and interview skills.
Piper declined to comment on a potential sale of the J.C. Penney space, citing company policy on discussing real estate activity.
Washington Business Journal first reported the closing.
Lord & Taylor announced plans for a September closing in June, with 73 employees slated to be laid off. The department store’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co., announced in May plans to pursue “strategic alternatives” for the chain, including a possible sale or merger.
Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in October 2018. The company announced the closure of 80 stores in December 2018, though the Gaithersburg location was not on the list.
Sears did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday on the future of the Lakeforest store.
Macy’s announced it would close eight stores in early 2019, part of a planned shutdown of 100 locations laid out in August 2016, according to news reports. The Gaithersburg location was not on any closure list.
Macy’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday on the future of the Lakeforest store.
Charlie Wright can be reached at email@example.com