SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A big retailer is closing another one of its stores in the Heartland.
It’s one of 18 retail locations the company closing in 2019, and follows their decision to close dozens of stores over the last two years.
Once the Sikeston store effectively closes July 5th, nearby shoppers will have to travel farther away if they want to shop at a J.C. Penney.
That includes Josh Brown and his family who live in New Madrid but they often come to Sikeston to shop at places like retail store.
Now, he's worried about spending the extra gas money to run the same errand.
"It's hard for certain people to get here, now it’s going to be really hard to get to Cape or Poplar Bluff," Brown said. “I'm going to have to drive 40 minutes to an hour to go to J.C. Penney’s man. It's crazy they shut down after so long of being in business."
In a release staff with the company said it choose locations that did not meet “...required financial targets or represent an opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset.”
Mike Marshall is CEO of the Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce, and believes there has been a J.C. Penney in town since the 1940’s.
"I don't think it's just unique to Sikeston. J.C. Penney is struggling nationwide,” Marshall said. “They filed bankruptcy a few years ago and they are probably going to file bankruptcy again."
One of Marshall’s duties is to create new job opportunities around town.
He hopes some options are available to J.C. Penney employees who do not transfer to other stores and are laid off.
"We hope that they will be able to find something else either in retail or in another direction," Marshall says.
This particular store is also in a busy shopping area of Sikeston that has seen growth and the City does not want the building to be vacant for long.
Marshall says they have already begun the search for a new business to fill the soon to be vacant building.
“It’s next to Walmart , and it’s right in front of a new movie theater and a Japanese restaurant, so things change,” Marshall said. “As one business goes out another comes in. That is progress and it won’t be long for that building to be filled with something else and they’ll do well, but then things will change again.”
J.C. Penney’s management team has said that additional store closures are possible in 2020 and beyond.