Negotiations between JCPenney and the owner of the Garden Valley Shopping Center have ended, meaning the anchor department store will be closing for good, according to the property manager at the center.
Connie Bennett, who manages the shopping center for Silva Management Co. in Eugene, said JCPenney had approached RAM Property Development in Eugene, which owns the shopping center, with an offer to keep the store open. RAM negotiated with JCPenney officials and accepted their terms, Bennett said, offering some hope that the store would remain open.
But the deal was then referred back to JCPenney’s real estate board, which had final say in the matter.
“They decided since this particular location was on the fence, that they are going to close it,” Bennett said.
In mid-May, JCPenney announced plans to close nearly 250 stores, leaving about 600 open. In a June 4 bankruptcy court filing, the company listed the first 154 of those stores slated to close. The Roseburg store was among those listed to close, as well as stores in Bend, McMinnville and Salem.
The JCPenney store had been closed for nearly three months due to COVID-19. It reopened on June 12, but that was merely to sell off inventory, Bennett said. The store spans about 35,000 square feet and opened in the shopping center around 1989, she said.
JCPenney has been fighting an uphill battle to retain its footing in the retail market for a decade, and closures due to COVID-19 made matters much worse, according to a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month. Those filings show that sales fell by $1.4 billion, or 56%, in the first quarter that ended May 2. Operating losses for the quarter more than tripled, from $93 million a year ago to $339 million this year, according to the filings.
But JCPenney was losing money long before COVID-19. The last time the company had a profitable year was 2010, and its net losses have totaled $4.5 billion since then, according to media reports.
This has also been a difficult year for the Garden Valley Shopping Center. Earlier this year, Pier 1 announced it would be closing for good. The 10,000 square-foot store had been in the shopping center for 15 years.
Bennett said she expects a new business to take over the spot left by Pier 1 before the end of the year.
“We’ve had a couple of nibbles, but nothing concrete yet.,” she said.
Bennett also said the other businesses in the shopping center, including Ross Dress For Less, Michaels, Dollar Tree and Petco, are doing well.