BATAVIA — The original date set for closure of the J.C. Penney Co. Inc. store in Batavia has been Sept. 27, but corporate executives are hoping it will stay open longer, the Batavia location’s general manager said Thursday.
“They’re (corporate executives) looking into October, but they’re not sure yet,” said General Manager Mary Fadeley. “They said they’re just looking to extend the original date.”
The local store was on a list of 154 locations, including six others in New York, released June 4 by the J.C. Penney Co., which had filed for bankruptcy in May.
There are about 50 hourly employees at the Batavia store who should be able to find jobs when the store closes, Fadeley said.
“I have already reached out to other retailers, I will find jobs for all of them. They will be able to transition right into another job,” she said. “This is the time we hire for holidays. We’re going into our fourth-quarter holiday hiring plans. I’ve been able to be in touch with the store managers and I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to find them all jobs.”
Fadeley said jobs in retail start picking up again in the summer and also with the back-to-school period, followed by the holidays.
“If this was the spring, there wouldn’t have been any jobs. That’s when you lay people after Christmas,” she said.
The general manager said this year, it’s hard to predict how large the back-to-school shopping crowd will be.
“It’s been a little iffy this year because of COVID. People don’t know if they’re staying home or if they’re going to school,” she said.
Fadeley said the company provides training on interview skills, resume building and anything that will help employees transition to a new job.
“J.C. Penney creates a wonderful culture for our employees. They’re very loyal to this company and very sad that the store is going,” she said.
There are no open positions for Fadeley and two supervisors at the Batavia store, Fadeley said. She said she is going back to school to go into another field of employment. Her supervisors plan to become business owners.
Of the customers, Fadeley said, “They’re very, very sad because we’ve been here since the early 1900s as a go-to store. We are a family. We treat them like family.”