Stores within a shopping mall come and go, but one store at a mall in Lackawanna County is closing up shop after more than 30 years in business.
The Hallmark store at the Viewmont Mall will close just after Christmas.
In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, a few paper signs hang around Hallmark in the Viewmont Mall in Lackawanna County saying the store will close at the end of the Christmas season.
It’s one of the oldest stores in the mall after 31 years, and is usually one of the busiest this time of year.
“I’m going to miss the store very much, it’s hard to find different little things, and different odd things that other stores might not have. I’m going to miss Hallmark,” said Mary Pastore of Scranton.
Pastore came by to find something for her sister. She and dozens of other customers relied on Hallmark to help make memories, commemorate milestones, or celebrate the holidays.
Owner Gary Martin said it’s fitting that his store is wrapping up right after Christmas.
“This is the 40th year for Hallmark ornaments and there’s a lot of collectors out there, but there are other stores around,” Martin said.
Martin said Hallmark’s business may have declined because they have an older clientele who are now on a fixed income. But, he also said the past year has been rough on a lot of retailers.
“Up until the last year and a half it’s been strong, strong, but it’s not like that now. You see empties which we rarely ever saw in the past. So, I think everyone’s struggling,” Martin said of the Viewmont Mall.
Some of the Hallmark employees we spoke to were struggling to hold back tears since many of them have worked there for decades and they said it’s difficult to say goodbye.
The Hallmark store in the Viewmont Mall plans to close in early January. No word on if its space in the mall will stay empty for long.