J.C. Penney To Close In Two Northeast Indiana Communities (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 7:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- A major retailer is closing 33 stores, including two in the Hoosier state: Warsaw and Marion.

J.C. Penney has been struggling for several years.

About 2,000 people will be laid off nation-wide, 60 in Marion and a comparable number in Warsaw.

It's an economic blow to Marion, where shuttering the store at Five Points Mall leaves Carson’s as the only anchor store.

Sears closed there about a year ago.

The head of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce calls the loss of the retailer and 60 jobs "very sad" for the community.

He says competition comes from a newer mall to the south, near the growing Indiana Wesleyan University, which boasts stores like Kohl's, Meijer, T.J. Maxx and Hobby Lobby.

However, the chamber president hopes the property owner's plan to invest a million dollars will attract new tenants to Five Points.

“We're a county of 70,000 people and a city of 30,000 people, and you have to be aggressive in terms of growth. And Marion will bounce back. I mean, Marion has a lot of people that totally believe in it, and I'm one of them. And I know that if we continue our efforts then we will bounce back,” Charlie Wallace says.

Penney's plans to close the 33 stores sometime this year.

We're told the one in Marion will close by early May.

That one and the store in Warsaw are the only Indiana stores affected.




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