JC Penney was one of the original anchor stores when the mall opened in 1961. Penney's closed its doors in the mid-90's, soon after fellow anchor Woolworths closed up shop. Many considered Penney's to be the retail heart of the mall, and its closing dealt what would prove to be a fatal blow.
This historical letter sent to a local newspaper hinted at the end of Apache's last anchor store (click for larger image). (courtesy Apache Plaza)