For 35 years my 80 year old Mom has been a devoted shopper at the JC Penny Outlet store on Silver Spring Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
They announced that they are closing soon and are having a “Closing Sale”. My Mom said “It just breaks my heart”–which breaks my heart to hear.
My personal taste is not JC Penny, and the outlet store is a collection of left over crap, factory seconds and polyester knockoffs–but to my Mombo the Outlet Center was a haven of low prices and ultra-returnability she could count on. The company is hurting, apparently. JC Penny closed their catalog distribution center in Milwaukee in 2002, and are planning to close their JCP Logistics branch along with the outlet center December 2010. They tried to get back on the fashion radar by opening a new store in New York City–but what about the midwest heartland that built their business, starting with James Cash Penny in 1902 Missouri?
As my ultra-conservative, Republican-faithful mom said today, “What’s wrong with Milwaukee that all the department stores are leaving?”