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January 14, 2015

JCPenney to close Vineland, Media stores

J.C. Penney Co. slammed down the hammer last week on 40 stores across the country, five of which are located in Pennsylvania, and one of which is in the Cumberland Mall in Vineland, New Jersey.

PREIT, a Philadelphia-headquartered real-estate investment company that manages Cumberland Mall (as well as The Gallery), released a comment on the emptying of the 51,000-square-foot space. The gist of the statement is that the scenario could have been much worse.

"We are pleased that only one of the malls in our portfolio will be impacted by JCPenney's recent store closing announcement and that repurposing this location represents a significant opportunity to add value, given its premier position at the center and the existing economics," Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT, said in a press release issued Jan. 13.  "It is also noteworthy that JCPenney did announce store closings at two of the malls we recently sold, which demonstrates the improved portfolio quality we have achieved through our strategic disposition program."

According to the release, PREIT is already shopping around for a replacement for the space, which, according to PREIT, is the most-trafficked part of the mall by vehicle. (It's next to Routes 55 and 47.) As of September, the mall was 94.3 percent occupied. has reached out to get a better sense of what will fill the space. learned upon making a phone call to the Cumberland Mall that JCPenney will close on April 4; as of now, no major store liquidation plans are in the works.

The JCPenney locations set to close in Pennsylvania include the Chambersburg Mall in Chambersburg, Granite Run Mall in Media (no word yet on when that will close), Nittany Mall in State College, Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummels Wharf and the York Galleria in York. The New York Times has the full list of closures.

The closings come on the heels of a CEO shake-up at JCPenney and despite reportedly strong holiday sales numbers for the company, according to Fortune.