JCPenney slated to close in Logansport

The J.C. Penney location in Logansport is slated to close in June. WLFI/File Photo

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — Clothing retailer JCPenney will soon close 140 stores, which includes a location in Logansport.

JCPenney is part of the growing list of companies announcing plans to close stores.

Last month, the retailer said it would close 130-140 stores as part of a “restructuring process.” The location in Logansport was among five Indiana stores on the chopping block.

“What I think is they just need to get rid of the mall and open it up. Build something different, something that will make this city pop again,” said resident Nathanial Shanks.

JCPenney has been a staple in the Logansport community for nearly 100 years. But its days are limited.

“The retail economy right now, especially with big box stores, is refocusing dramatically to shape the attitudes and the habits of consumers,” said Mayor Dave Kitchell.

He said the retailer will go down in the city’s history books.

The original building was located downtown before it burned down in 1966.

“The fire was so strong and so brilliant against the night sky there was a red glow over Logansport at the time,” Kitchell said.

He said the fire changed the downtown landscape.

“It spread to seven stores from JCPenney, it lasted for days. It took shifts of firefighters to keep firefighting,” said Kitchell. “Downtown Logansport had to be shut down.”

Just a few years later, it re-emerged at the Logansport Mall.

Kitchell said it was one of the first tenants at the mall and is now one of the last. He said the closure will have a severe impact in the short term, including a limited variety of clothing options for consumers – forcing them to go to other communities.

Shanks attributes online shopping to the decline of brick and mortar stores.

“I think this town definitely needs new businesses,” said Shanks. “Not just businesses but successful businesses that people want to go to and enjoy.”

Resident Jack Delp said JCPenney had a decent selection in choices. He said he’ll just go elsewhere to shop for the time being.

“It’s just a trend that keeps on happening here in Logansport so one after another, they’re all closing,” Delp said.

The Logansport location will close its doors on June 30.

Kitchell said one of the biggest challenges will be selling the property.

He said one day, he’s hoping JCPenney will have a presence in Logansport once again.