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J.C. Penney closures endanger other businesses

As big box stores and the great American shopping mall continue to struggle in the new economy, some of the industry's biggest players are choosing to throw in the towel. J. C. Penney, which has long been one of several brands that anchored many malls across the country has moved forward with plans to close stores in many locations, including three in California. While this is certainly tough news for loyal customers, these kinds of closings for anchor stores can affect others as well -- especially smaller vendors in malls losing an anchor store.

If your business is housed in a shopping center that is losing one of its anchor businesses, it is possible that you may need to revisit your lease to avoid any nasty surprises. A major tenant vacating a space in the same complex can have serious effects on your business, restricting customers from accessing your location, or possibly damaging your location in the process. You certainly want to know what your lease may have to say about these kinds of damages or disruptions to your business.

You may also find that this kind of disruption is grounds for leaving the location altogether. In one cases, your lease may be interpreted to allow you an easier-than-normal exit strategy. Each lease is different, and should be examined carefully to identify any terms that may be able to work in your favor.

If your business is in this type of situation, don't wait to see how everything plays out before you consult an attorney. With proper legal guidance, you may be able to exit your lease on preferable terms, or use the disruption to you business as grounds to renegotiate a more desirable lease agreement. An experienced attorney can help you protect your rights and your business, even in uncertain times.

Source: The Orange Country Register, "California lawmakers aim to repeal anti-rent control law," Hannah Madans, March 09, 2017

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