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J.C. Penney at Silver Lake Mall to close

| December 19, 2020 1:09 AM

The J.C. Penney at Silver Lake Mall will be closing this spring.

The retailer was on the list of planned closures released Thursday.

The store, along with Macy's, has been an anchor tenant of the mall for years. But like many retailers, it has struggled with declining sales as people turned to online shopping.

"While store closure decisions are never easy, our store optimization strategy is intended to better position JCPenney to drive sustainable, profitable growth," according to the company's blog. "We will continue to operate the majority of our stores and our flagship store,, to ensure our valued customers continue to have access to the products and brands they need and want."

Cora Taylor of Coeur d'Alene was disappointed to hear the store would be closing.

"My mom first took me to Penney's when I was 11 or 12. This was back in the mid-80s, '85, I think," she said "I bought my first bra at a Penney's. I got my first charge card at a Penney's. One of my first jobs was working at a Penney's behind the perfume stand. Back then, it was a stand. This is still one of the first places I go to go school clothes shopping every summer. So that just breaks my heart."

Another 15 stores will close by the end of March, officials confirmed to USA TODAY Thursday. That brings the closings list to about 150 locations.

Penney's had already closed stores at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay and at the Lewiston Shopping Center.

Stores in Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls are not on the closure list.

The J.C. Penney store in Sequim, Wash., is also slated to be closed.

J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. It announced plans to close about 240 of its 846 stores.

The number of employees the closure will affect was not available. Management at the Silver Lake Mall did not return a message Friday seeking comment on the pending closure.