JCPenney in Lackawanna County Celebrating 50 Years

DICKSON CITY, Pa. -- Sylvia Kolosinsky started what was supposed to be a temporary holiday job at JCPenney in Lackawanna County back in October of 1992.

"A postage stamp at that time was 29 cents and here we are," Kolosinsky said.

The store at the Viewmont Mall is celebrating its 50th anniversary, staying around like Kolosinsky, longer than expected.

"I think what makes us last and what makes us special is that human behavior, human interaction, that's important. It's important to communicate. It's great to do things online as well. However, you need to have that personal touch," Kolosinsky added.

When the Viewmont Mall opened in 1968, JCPenney was one of its original anchor stores. Another one of its original anchors, Sears, closed just two years ago.

"Once we noticed that they were losing a little bit of their market share, that's when we swooped in with the expanded home section and again, the major appliances, we launched right around the time that they started having all their troubles. Certainly, that helped buoy us a little bit," said JCPenney general manager Brian Mellott.

The strategy has helped the JCPenney brand weather the financial woes many other department stores have faced, but employees say there's something special about the Lackawanna County store that could mean many more decades to come.

"The reason why we have lasted 50 years, and this our big birthday celebration, is because of our customers, northeastern Pennsylvania has the greatest people," added Kolosinsky.