Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Director, Kristina Wiltgen, says the Decorah store appears to be an easy target for the company as it looks to cut costs, but they think that’s a mistake.
“We know that the store is successful, they meet benchmarks, they are in the top ratings for sales nationally and so I think we just have a store here that is a unique situation for them. And if they are looking at cleaning things up than this is a store that is somewhat easy for them to cut out of their mold,” Wiltgen says. “But J.C.Penney has been an anchor in our downtown for 95 years — and I think we would be remiss as a community if we didn’t do what we could to keep it here.”
Wiltgen is asking residents to voice their opinions on the chamber website. She says they can go to www.decorahareachamber.com and fill out a form letter to send to the J.C. Penney CEO with any comments. The Decorah store was one of 138 closings announced last week, including other Iowa stores in Fort Dodge, Oskaloosa and Ottumwa.
(Reporting by Darrin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah)