Younkers closes doors across the state of Iowa

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It's the end of an era for Younker's shoppers as the department stores across the state are closing their doors for good today.

Before malls were popular in eastern Iowa, the rise of department stores started in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Younkers first opened their first Cedar Rapids store in Westdale back in 1979. It even featured a restaurant called the Peacock Room on the second floor. Although the store at Westdale closed earlier this year, department stores as a whole are seeing a decline.

"No one could have predicted that 58 years later they would be closing down at the same time. I don't think anyone predicted things like online sales - which has really brought down so much of the department store concept in our society right now," Mark Stoffer Hunter, the historian for Linn County said.

Despite a decline in larger department stores, smaller boutique owners in the Cedar Rapids area say business is going well on a smaller scale.

The stores close tonight for all locations in the state of Iowa.