Decorah J.C. Penney to close - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Decorah J.C. Penney to close

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A constant flow of shoppers walking in and out of the J.C. Penney in Decorah. 

News the long running department store is closing, catching many off guard.

"I just found out...I come in and there's usually a number of people in, shopping. Yeah, I was surprised," said Rose Brown.

It's been part of Decorah's small but vibrant downtown community for 95 years.

Longtime shoppers say it's a substantial loss.

Very disappointed. I think it's a benefit here and I hate to see it leaving," said Brown.

J.C. Penney announcing it's just one of the nearly 140 locations across the country that'll be closed in several months.

We're told the Decorah store actually meets it sales goals, however, J.C. Penney says it's just trying to compete against online retailers -- those like amazon.

The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce gives us more insight. "We're seeing that this closing is more so a reflection of them cleaning their corporate footprint, the store does not meet standards of other stores. It's not a mall anchor. They don't have the ability to expand here, they can't bring in all their product here because they just don't have the square footage for it," said Kristina Wiltgen, executive director. 

We're told about 20 employees are impacted by they closure and they are taking the news pretty hard.  


J.C. Penney is announcing the closure of 138 of their locations. 

Approximately 5,000 positions nationwide will be impacted by the store closures, most of which will occur in June. 

Included on the list of nationwide closures is the Decorah location. Also closing in Iowa are the Fort Dodge and Oskaloosa locations.

Regarding the Decorah store, approximately 20 employees are impacted by the closure and it’s scheduled to close later this year on June 18. 

The company says they're losing a lot of their market share thanks to online retailers like Amazon.

Penney's says they expect to save about $200 million dollars a year after closing all of these stores.

In total, about 5,000 jobs will be affected by the closures. 

At this point, we don't know the timeline of the closure.

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