DECORAH, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - The shift to online shopping is likely one big reason why some say JCPenney is closing 138 stores. That will leave 5,000 people without jobs. Some of the closures are happening here in Iowa.
Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Fort Dodge and Decorah locations are all telling employees the stores will close this year.
Decorah's JC Penney store is not only one of the largest stores in town, it's been a downtown staple for more than 95 years. 30 people working at this store now have to find a new job or transfer to a new store.
Plus, people from all over Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties now have to drive further to shop. While the Decorah Chamber of Commerce is shocked by the announcement because this store has always been profitable.
They say they are going to fight to keep it in town. Executive Director Kristina Wiltgen says, "I think we can flood mailboxes and talk to their CEO and see what we can do about continuing the successful store here, even though the store is very unique for JCPenney. It's not a mall anchor. They can't carry all of their lines here and all of their products here, which I think is the large part contributing to their closing the store. But how do we make the plea that the community needs them."