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Latham JCPenney to close

By Bethany Bump
Thursday, October 24, 2013

JCPenney will close its store in the Latham Circle Mall in the first week of 2014, leaving just one anchor store left at the mall as it undergoes a major makeover to become the Shoppes at Latham Circle.

A JCPenney spokesman confirmed the impending closure Thursday, adding that nearly 40 of the Latham store's approximate 50 employees will be offered positions at nearby JCPenney stores. The rest will receive separation benefits.

"We continually evaluate our store portfolio to determine whether there’s a need to close or relocate underperforming locations," said spokesman Joey Thomas via email. "Reviews such as these are essential in meeting our long-term goals for future company growth. While it’s never an easy decision to close a store, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision."

JCPenney has had a store inside the Latham Circle Mall since at least as far back as 1963, according to Gazette archives. The mall itself opened in 1957, but has seen steady decline in recent years.

That decline is what prompted Boston developer Grossman Development Group to plan a revival for the dead mall. The plan was to demolish most of the mall — except for Lowe's, JCPenney and Regal Cinemas — and redevelop it into a facility with a new look and new tenants ranging from restaurants, retail and entertainment businesses.

Demolition began in March, around the same time it was announced that Dick's Sporting Goods would be one of the first new tenants at the Shoppes at Latham Circle.

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