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JCPenney Set to Close at Laurel Mall

HAZLE TOWNSHIP — JCPenney is one of the Laurel Mall’s anchor stores. It’s scheduled to close in just over a week.

Empty shelves and lots of marked down prices. The JCPenney department store at the Laurel Mall near Hazleton is set to close on May 3rd. With all the low prices, shoppers including Nancy Weber, are buying up what’s left at the store.

“I took advantage of the all the sales today. I’m sad to see the store close. I have a JCPenney’s card. It’s sad a lot of stores are closing,” said Nancy Weber from Zion Grove

With JCPenney leaving, the Laurel Mall has a big space to fill. Coffee shop manager, Sarah Fountain, says closing store fronts has been a growing trend at the mall.

“We don’t have a lot of sales because of it. Nobody wants to shop, so why would they come into a coffee shop?”

Long-time shopper, Mary Martonic says she’s sad to see JCPenney leave, but hopes it won’t affect other businesses in the mall.

“I don’t want to see the mall itself deteriorate or leave us. They have to bring something here that will be of interest to the people,” said Mary Martonic from Weatherly.

“We have several very good leads. I can’t tell you what they are yet because nothing has been penned. But the reality is it will probably be 2015,” said Amee Rusing, Laurel Mall general manager.

Mall management says once they do find something to fill JCPenney they expect other store fronts that have closed to reopen as well. Shoppers already have plenty of ideas for the empty store fronts.

“I hope they bring in something like Target World. Something like Target.”

“A Hollister, American Eagle. I would love them to start opening stores like that,” said Weber.

“I think they should bring something that is constructive. Something the people will like,” said Martonic.

3 comments

  • Me

    Hispanics don’t buy, they steal from boscovs. Every week it’s written in the paper. Why would you cater to thieves. Section 8 towns like hazleton are turning into a drug dealers dream. The only thing they want to buy in hazleton is heroin. It won’t be long before the entire mall is closed down.
    Old navy, boscovs, a sneaker store , a popcorn shop, and Arabs selling cell phone covers. Yep that’s where I wanna go and shop. Please…..just close the mall already open up a rehab clinic for the heroin addicts. That’s what this town REALLY needs

  • gafan

    What they need is a Salvation Army type second hand store. Thats all people around here can afford anymore. Except of course the teachers and politicians. They can go shop Target in WB

  • bobc74

    Back in the late 1990’s when all retailers were overbulding, maybe. But I highly doubt any of those retailers mentioned in this article will be locating in Hazleton. Why? Because they already have stores in Wilkes-Barre, which is only a 30 minute drive up I-81. Since Hazelton has quite a number of Hispanics making up it’s population, why not try opening up some stores that cater to the Hispanic community? Might as well make the demographics work FOR the area instead of the exact opposite.

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