JCPenney store in Richmond's Hilltop Mall closing

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The JCPenney at Hilltop Mall in Richmond might not have much longer.

The retailer has announced it's closing 138 of its stores nationwide including the one in Richmond.

"The department store model is dead," said John Cumbelich.

Cumbelich is the CEO of a Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Firm. He calls internet shopping the final nail in the coffin of large department stores.

"There needs to be a reason to go to that place that can't easily be replicated on the internet," said Cumbelich.

JCPenney's CEO has said the move will allow the company to adjust its business to compete against the growing threat of online retailers.

"I'd like to see something around some kind of family oriented maybe some kind of recreation for the younger kids, the teenagers," said shopper Teresa Mahaffey.

"Lots of different ethnic food styles that I think people would dig to have in the mall," said Deseary Cherbak.

Other flagship stores here like Macy's own the property they're on. The mall itself is up for sale.

By phone, Richmond's City Manager said he'd like to see something mixed use with more residential properties. Cumbelich says that's definitely the way to go. "To create neighborhoods to create pedestrian traffic," said Cumbelich.

"This used to be a drive in so that'd be nice to go back to some kind of drive in," said Mahaffey.

Whatever Happens at Hilltop, shoppers here there's always other places to go as well.

"We shop all over the Bay Area," said Mahaffey.
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