HUMMELS WHARF — The Susquehanna Valley Mall has been dealt another blow with the pending closure of J.C. Penney, one of its anchor stores.
The Plano, Texas-based national retail chain announced Thursday it will close 39 stores this year, including the Hummels Wharf store and four other locations in Pennsylvania.
Most of the stores will close in early April, and a total of about 2,250 jobs will be lost. The company operates about 1,100 stores in the U.S.
Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert Garrett said the closures are indicative of changing consumer trends and was anticipated.
“As much as we’d like not to be a part of it, these are large winds that are blowing,” he said. “Traditional shopping malls are being repurposed, and we will work closely with the mall to get it refilled.”
Monroe Township supervisors Chairman Dean Davis said he wasn’t surprised by the closure announcement, “But I don’t like to see it. There’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.
J.C. Penney is the third well-established business to announce it is leaving the Snyder County mall property in recent days.
The Hummels Wharf store, which employs about 42 people, opened in 1980 and is slated to close about April 4, company spokesman Sarah Holland said.
Last week, Friendly’s Restaurant closed suddenly without fanfare, and on Tuesday, Gap Inc. announced it is shutting down several locations nationwide. The Gap store in the Susquehanna Valley Mall employs 15 full- and part-time workers and will close Jan. 26.
Another mall store, Christopher & Banks, is relocating and expanding to the nearby Monroe Marketplace. Both malls are owned by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust.
The Susquehanna Valley Mall opened in September 1978. The loss of J.C. Penney will leave the mall with three anchor stores, Sears, Boscov’s and Bon-Ton.
J.C. Penney's closing 5 stores in PA.
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