SCRANTON -- Two more stores are closing up shop at the Marketplace at Steamtown. Both have been there since the former mall's beginning in the early '90s.
Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works, which are owned by the same company, are expected to close in about a month.
The news has some shoppers saying "too bad" while Marketplace officials are hopeful for what comes next.
“That’s sad. I know a lot of people like Bath and Body Works. I like Victoria’s Secret as well,” said Mary Ellyn Fogarty of the Hazleton area.
“I like all the chain stores here. I remember coming when I was little and all these stores being here. For people who shop here all the time might be a big change,” added Brittany Papocchia of Clifford.
Both businesses have locations at other nearby shopping centers in Lackawanna County, but newer tenants at the Marketplace worry without them, some customers may stay away.
“Them closing is going to affect us a little bit because a lot of women come to the store and check the furniture out,” said Evelyn Rodriguez of D & N Furniture.
It hasn’t been known as the Marketplace at Steamtown very long. Of course, the former Mall at Steamtown has been here for a number of years, but with the departure of both stores, the Marketplace is expected to change over the coming year.
“Not only do I expect them to be filled shortly, we’re already speaking in conversations with people who sell and do pretty much what they already do,” said Alan Retkinski with Lexington Realty International, the company that operates the Marketplace.
The new owners have plans for a restaurant. The movie bistro is getting close to opening, and officials expect plenty more leases to be signed in the new year.
Shoppers are looking forward to empty stores filling up including the two about to close to start this year.
“Now we’ll have choices of different things here. I hope smaller businesses and can grow here,” added Fogarty.
Marketplace at Steamtown officials said the stores' closings were expected. Their leases are up.
Those same officials said the stores' parent company is consolidating locations across the country. In this case, going from three stores to two within ten miles of each other.