Contrary to online rumors, Casper’s JCPenney store to remain open

JCPenney has been an anchor store in the Eastridge Mall since its earliest days. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Local JCPenney shoppers may be able to rest easy for the time being.

“We have not announced any plans to close stores,” said the short email from Carter English of JCPenney’s corporate communications and public relations office.

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The email, which was received yesterday, was in response to an inquiry sent last week about the Casper store’s future.

Numerous online comments regarding the store’s future were posted on social media when news broke that Macy’s, one of the most prominent Eastridge Mall tenants, will close early this year.

Casper’s JCPenney ops manager Cat Hicks told Oil City News on Wednesday that the Casper store has been busy over the holiday season.

“We are doing really well as far as sales goals,” said Hicks. “I don’t see us losing anything, I see us gaining more as the year progresses.”

The good news for Casper comes after JCPenney corporate announced the impending closure of three stores following a disappointing quarterly report.

According to CNBC, the retailer offered no details about the closures but will make an announcement on Feb. 28.

The company, which installed a new CEO in October, saw its stock value skink below $1 after Christmas. It has inched above the dreaded $1 mark since.

JCPenney is one of a number of traditional retailers struggling in the era of online shopping. Casper’s Sears and Kmart have now closed, and Macy’s is expected to close in March.

The loss of Sears and eventually Macy’s will leave two prominent anchor stores dark in the Eastridge Mall. Management at Eastridge Mall have declined to comment, and requests for comments from the mall’s corporate parent Brookfield Properties have gone unanswered.