Report puts JCPenney store at Mall of NH on short list for closing

Credit rating agency cites location’s below-average sales

A list compiled by a national credit rating agency lists the JCPenney store at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester as one of the 39 stores most likely to be closed by the retail chain in 2017.

Earlier this year, JCPenney announced it planned to close between 130 and 140 stores nationwide, citing continued slow sales.

While the chain hasn't released a list of the stores it plans to close, a report by the Morningstar Credit Ratings agency identifies 39 stores that it says are most at risk of closing because they have weaker per-square-foot sales than the average JCPenney outlet.

Of the 39 stores named, only three are in New England. Along with the Mall of New Hampshire store, Morningstar said it expects JCPenney to close its stores at The Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine, and the Westfield Trumbull Mall in Trumbull, Conn.

JCPenney is not the only major retailer to announce major cutbacks following a lackluster Christmas selling season. Macy’s said it will be closing as many as 100 locations in the coming years, and Sears said it is closing another 42 stores, along with 108 Kmart stores.

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