Two stores in Arlington's Lincoln Square to close

The Jones of New York and Nine West stores in the Lincoln Square shopping center in Arlington will be shuttered by month's end as part of their parent company's restructuring.

Jones Apparel Group announced last year that it would close 270 underperforming stores by the end of 2010. As of April 3, 160 of those stores had closed, according to the company's latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

A company spokeswoman said Thursday that the Arlington store closings, to happen by June 27, are part of that restructuring. Lincoln Square is south of Interstate 30 at Collins Street.

The closings come at a time when occupancy at shopping centers in Dallas-Fort Worth continues to inch downward. As of March 31, occupancy averaged 84.1 percent, compared with 84.3 percent a year earlier, said, a division of Roddy Information Services.

"Retail center occupancy has generally been on a downhill slide for the last five years," said George Roddy Sr., president of Roddy Information Services. "Certainly, the economic woes of the past couple of years have played a role in this decline."

Occupancy peaked at 89.5 percent in the first quarter of 2005, Roddy said.

SANDRA BAKER, 817-390-7727