Morningstar Credit Ratings has included the J.C. Penney store at the Maine Mall in a list of 39 under-performing stores within the retailer’s chain of department stores. J.C. Penney announced Feb. 24 that it intends to close up to 140 stores because of lagging sales.
The credit rating company assembled the list based on weaker sales per square foot than the J.C. Penney average of $120, and high-risk loans.
Although the report didn’t reveal the South Portland store’s performance, it did note the Maine Mall store carries the fourth-highest loan balance – $235 million – among the 39 stores on the list.
The retailer is expected to release its closure list by mid-March. In addition to the South Portland store, J.C. Penney operates stores in Auburn, Waterville, Rockland, Bangor and Presque Isle.
The stores it is closing represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of its current store count of about 1,000, and account for less than 5 percent of total sales. J.C. Penney expects the closures will result in $200 million in annual savings.