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Red Wing JCPenney slated to close this spring

The closure of JCPenney in the Red Wing mall will impact 24 associates. (photo by Kit Murray)

The current summer collection will be the last that shoppers will see at the Red Wing JCPenney.

The local store is among 138 stores nationwide gearing up to close this spring.

"Approximately 280 associates are impacted at these Minnesota locations," Christina Voss, corporate communications and public relations manager said. "It's essential to adjust our store portfolio and invest in those locations that offer the best expression of the JCPenney brand and can function as a seamless extension of the omnichannel experience."

Gordman's and Macy's also have fallen victim to the nationwide retail closures recently.

While finding it hard to compete with online retailers such as Amazon or low budget stores including Walmart, JCPenney hasn't been able to meet comparable sales, industry experts agree.

Since the move from downtown, JCPenney has been located in the Red Wing Mall for over 30 years. The closure will affect 24 associates at the Red Wing location, Voss said.

"We will go to great lengths to relocate esteemed leaders and if possible, we will assist associates in identifying other job opportunities at nearby JCPenney stores."

Those who do not remain with the company, Voss said, will receive separation benefits including an on-site career training class to help write resumes, fill out applications and answer interview questions.

With the new space available, Dan Plein, Red Wing mall manager, is waiting to hear what the next steps will be.

"As soon as we heard that JCPenney was on the radar of potentially closing, we have been in contact with a couple other potential users for their space," Plein said.

As of now, he said, names of possible tenants can not be released.

"We still have not been notified officially from JCPenney corporate on anything, thus we have not been informed on any potential dates as to when the store will close," Plein said.

While the official date has not been released for when the Red Wing store will shut its doors, most stores will start the liquidation process in April and close in June.

"The stores that have been identified for closure either require significant capital to achieve the company's new brand standard or are minimally cash flow positive today relative to the overall consolidated average," Voss said.

Total closures represent approximately 13-14 percent of the company's portfolio and approximately 4 percent of total annual sales.

Stores in Minnesota to close

Central Lakes Crossing: Baxter

Five Lakes Centre: Fairmont

Faribo West Mall: Faribault

Irongate Plaza: Hibbing

Hutchinson Mall: Hutchinson

Red Wing Mall: Red Wing

Downtown Thief River Falls: Thief River Falls

Freestanding: Winona

Most stores will begin liquidation sales April 17 and close in June.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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