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JC Penney isn't the only major retailer leaving these malls

A JC Penny department store with a store closing banner last April.
Robert Barnes | Getty Images
A JC Penny department store with a store closing banner last April.

J.C. Penney shoppers across the U.S. learned the fate of their local store Friday, as the chain revealed the 138 locations it will close this year.

The news was a particularly big blow for customers in a handful of U.S. markets, who recently received similar news from Macy's, Kmart or Sears. Collectively, those three chains are in the process of shuttering 218 locations.

According to CNBC's analysis of all four retailers' latest closure lists, eight shopping centers across the country are losing two of these stores. They include the Jasper Mall, in Jasper, Alabama, where both Penney's and Kmart are on the way out. CBL & Associates' Eastland Mall, in Bloomington, Illinois, is also losing two tenants: Macy's and J.C. Penney.

While losing an anchor tenant can be a warning sign for a mall, it's sometimes an opportunity. Some of Macy's latest closures, for example, occurred in quality malls that simply had a better store nearby, according to CoStar.

Losing two anchor tenants at once, on the other hand, is often a symptom of a larger issue, Ryan McCullough, senior real estate economist at CoStar, told CNBC.

Those issues could include a stronger property opening nearby, poaching tenants from the incumbent mall. In other cases, a spike in an area's unemployment rate can cause sales at the local mall to suffer — sending tenants to the exit.

Properties losing more than one anchor tenant:

  • Jasper Mall, Jasper, Alabama: Kmart and J.C. Penney
  • Eastland Mall, Bloomington, Illinois: Macy's and J.C. Penney
  • Lakeview Square Mall, Battlecreek, Michigan: Macy's and J.C. Penney
  • The Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada: Macy's and J.C. Penney
  • Richmond Town Square, Richmond Heights, Ohio: Sears and J.C. Penney
  • Lycoming Mall, Pennsdale, Pennsylvania: Macy's and J.C. Penney
  • Shenango Valley Mall, Hermitage, Pennsylvania: Sears and Macy's

In the case of the Jasper and Eastland properties, both owners are in the process of finding new tenants to fill the spaces, according to spokespersons.

"We'll end up with a much better tenant mix when everything shakes out," Marsha Massey, who manages the privately owned Jasper Mall, told CNBC. "We're actually very excited about it."

A spokesperson for CBL, the only publicly traded real estate investment trust with a property on CNBC's list, said in a statement that its properties "generally hold the dominant position in their markets and generate significant demand."

"While it is unfortunate when a department store closes, we view it has an opportunity to recapture underperforming space and deliver a fresh new mix that drives increased traffic and sales to the entire property," the statement said.

CBL has engaged in discussions with tenants for both locations, yet it is "too early to announce concrete plans or potential tenants."

The latest round closures are not expected to be the last. Due to overbuilding and the growth of online shopping, a recent analysis by CoStar found that retailers would need to shutter 1 billion square feet of space to return to their 2000 productivity levels.

While McCulloguh said that does not necessarily mean all of that space will be vacated, "We by no means think this is it," he said.