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.