J.C. Penney has officially added its Southdale location to the list of stores it is soon closing, raising to nine the number of Minnesota stores that are part of a broader downsizing.
The closing sale will begin June 19 and is expected to end about Aug. 13, said Carter English, a J.C. Penney spokesman. The retailer based in Plano, Texas, has eight other Twin Cities locations that will remain open.
Life Time, the Chanhassen-based fitness company, plans to move into the Penney's space at Southdale with a 120,000-square-foot athletic center. The center is reported to include a rooftop pool.
Closing sales are in progress at J.C. Penney stores in Baxter, Fairmont, Faribault, Hibbing, Hutchinson, Red Wing, Thief River Falls and Winona. Most are expected to close by July 31 except for Faribault, which is closing Oct. 1.
Both Southdale and St. Cloud J.C. Penney locations were thought to be vulnerable before the March announcement that 138 stores were closing nationwide. The two stores were among 39 underperforming stores on a list from Morningstar Credit Rating. While English did not mention the St. Cloud store specifically, he said on Friday that no additional Minnesota stores are scheduled for closure at this time.
J.C. Penney was not one of the original tenants when Southdale opened in 1956 as the country's first climate-controlled indoor mall. A wing was added in 1972 to accommodate Penney's as the center's third anchor after Dayton's and Donaldson's.
J.C. Penney, along with other department store chains, has struggled with the consumer shift to online shopping. Macy's has finished or is in the process of closing nearly 70 stores nationwide, including downtown Minneapolis. Sears will downsize by 150 stores, including one in Mankato and another in the Riverdale Commons in Coon Rapids, that have already closed.