Macy's closure prompts concern about future of Hermitage mall - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Macy's closure prompts concern about future of Shenango Valley Mall

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HERMITAGE, Pa. -

The face of the Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage is changing rapidly. Now that a second department store has announced it will close, some shoppers are worried about the future of the mall itself.

"Disappointing because I like to come (here). This is a hop skip and a jump for me," said Mickey Hammond of Hubbard.

Disappointing news for workers and shoppers in Hermitage. After being open for 40 years, Macy's plans to shut its doors at the Shenango Valley Mall in the coming months. Sixty-nine jobs will be lost.

"I think it's the death of the mall," explained Hammond, while he was shopping there.

The announcement comes less than a week after Sears announced it would be shutting down its Shenango Valley Mall Store this spring, leaving JCPenney as the only major department store chain with a presence at the mall.

Gabby Michaels of Mercer said, "It's crazy. This mall has been here forever, and it's weird to hear that as a community that we're going to lose basically eventually the mall."

Other shoppers are hopeful that even with online shopping making a huge dent in sales, other businesses will move in.

"Online shopping, I have to admit, I used a lot this year, but I think a lot of people like to go in the stores. They like to see the product for themselves so I think the mall's still going to be around," explained Sherry Congemi of New Castle.

Details on what could possibly go into the mall are still unclear. The general manager of the mall, Paul Vidwan, would not comment on any ideas at this time.

The mall, the city of Hermitage and the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce are working on plans.

The executive director of the chamber said that the mall is in a great location at the corner of Route 18 and East State Street with a lot of traffic.

"We don't see the mall going away anytime soon, but maybe turning into something new that will help this area," stated Sherris Moreira, Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The mall is depending on JCPenney. Vidwan said that the store seems to be fairly stable and just last year JCPenney built a Sephora inside.

Some shoppers think that adding Target would help.

"Target would be nice. I think that would bring in a lot of business, but it's sad losing Macy's," commented Michaels.

Vidwan doesn't know when exactly Macy's will shut its doors for good, but stores are expected to close in the early months of the year.

The store is one of 68 nationwide that will close. 

Wednesday's list of closings came after corporate announced the closing of 100 stores back in August. The stores are expected to close in the beginning months of 2017.

The Beaver Valley Mall Macy's is also on the closing list.

The company estimated that there will be 3,900 total job losses from stores across the nation.

Macy's said in a release that displaced associates may have opportunities to be hired at nearby stores if possible. Additionally, some associates will be offered severance benefits, the store said. 

The company's store closings result from a loss in sales over the holiday season. Macy's said in a release the loss in sales from retail stores does not reflect online sales, which saw gains in the double digits.

The Macy's stores in the Eastwood and Southern Park Malls are not on the closing list.

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