Lake Square Mall J.C. Penney to close its doors



ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned J.C. Penney is closing dozens of its stores and cutting about 2,000 jobs.

But only one of those 33 closing stores is in central Florida. The store at the Lake Square Mall in Leesburg will close sometime before May, officials said.

J.C. Penney officials said the cuts are due to poor sales and will save the company $65 million a year.

"I would definitely think that if J.C. Penney, a corporation that has hundreds of locations, looks at percentages, it's clear to understand why not just because of the economy, but because of Lake County, the size we are, why we'd be one of the poor performing stores for them," said Leesburg commissioner Jay Hurley.

Shoppers who talked with Channel 9 said things have slowed down at the mall over the years.

"It ain't been much," said Leesburg resident David Takac. "But around here in Lake County, there's a bunch of businesses closing down."

J.C. Penney was one of the mall's original anchor stores when Lake Square was built in 1980.