Three local JCPenney stores closing their doors for good Monday

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BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WOLF) -- People walked in and out of the JCPenney store at Columbia Mall today mostly empty-handed.

The store was almost completely bare throughout the afternoon, only the fixtures still available for purchase.

Its one of the 138 stores JCPenney announced it was closing earlier this year as part of an effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability.

Customers we spoke to say they saw it coming.

“I’ve been in this area for about a year and since I’ve lived here this has been like a ghost town mall so I’m not surprised that this was one of the ones shut down,” Alexandra Conklin, of Benton, said.

They say big box stores like Target and Walmart are taking out the competition and online shopping is luring shoppers away.

“Especially younger people I don’t think they shop at department stores anymore. I think a lot of them are going clearance shopping or there’s a store, I forget what its called, but its basically your name brand stuff for cheaper than what you would pay in the store. So you know, young people are looking for a deal. There’s a lot of college grads that can’t get jobs so they have to be tight with money,” Benton said.

And now with another store gone, the options for shopping in the area are becoming more limited.

“Well the only other place to buy clothing for me would be Walmart. In which, I like to have some options,” Ed Rosenberg, of Lime Ridge, said.

Rosenberg says while online shopping and one-stop shops like Walmart are convenient, there’s drawbacks to both.

“I think the consumer is going to get shafted because its more than just price. Its being able to come in and ask questions. You really don’t have a place to buy a television here. Walmart, everything’s Walmart, so there’s no competition and I think its going to continue that way.”

The two other JCPenney stores that closed in our area tonight are in Towanda in Bradford County and Pennsdale in Lycoming County.

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