TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Soon, 5,000 employees of a national department store chain will be out of a job.
Some of those employees are right here in Northwest Ohio.
The J.C. Penney store has been an anchor of the Findlay Village Mall for years, but it will soon go away after it was announced Friday that 138 Penney's stores will be closing nationally.
Ann Persinger from Tiffin, has been a devoted J.C. Penney shopper.
She is distraught that the doors of this store will soon be closing.
"I like Penney's, and I feel sad that they're going out. And we're old shoppers, we're not the kind to get online and buy stuff online."
The department chain released a list of all 138 to be closed last Friday.
Five of those stores are in Ohio.
The 5,000 employees of those stores will receive severance or early retirement options.
But in Findlay, the director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Tim Mayle says a recent new store announcement in the mall may offer local employees another option.
"The good thing is, we have a good relationship with the mall. In fact they just announced another retailer going into the old Sears store, the Big R. And we've actually been in communication with J.C. Penney and The Big R to try to transition some of the retail employees right back into another position into the mall." said Mayle.
Mayle says despite this bit of bad news, Findlay is currently at a seven year high in employment and wages.
He says this mass closing is due in part to the growing trend of online shopping, and not a reflection of our local economy.
"That's why we look at this J.C. Penney piece as maybe not a reflection of the market necessarily within Findlay, because I still feel optimistic that we're going to see some growth there." he said
The Findlay J.C. Penney is expected to close some time in June.