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Tampa Bay JCPenney stores spared in recent closure announcements

TAMPA — The area's largest JCPenney store will be spared from the chain's latest spate of closures.

The struggling department store chain announced this week it would close 18 of its locations, but its WestShore Plaza location won't be among them. Nine JCPenney home furnishing locations also will close. The JCPenney stores at Tyrone Square Mall in St Petersburg, Brandon Westfield and Tampa's Citrus Park Mall also are safe, according to a department store spokeswoman.

WestShore and other area malls are already managing abandoned big boxes left behind by another struggling traditional retailer — Sears.

"We are in the process of obtaining necessary mixed use entitlements for WestShore Plaza, and discussions are underway regarding a joint venture of this mixed use redevelopment which will replace the Sears," mall spokeswoman Kim Green said in a statement.

JCPenney has about 860 total stores. The store closings come as the chain announced slumping profits.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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