Coming a little more than two weeks after the Janesville Gazette posted one their "ambassadors of optimism" puff pieces boasting of record retail sales in Rock County for 2013 is the news that one of the anchors of the Janesville Mall, J.C. Penney, will be shutting down.
Channel 3000 Excerpt:
The J.C. Penney in Janesville is one of 33 stores across the country set to close in May.
According to a statement from the company, Janesville and the other stores were under-performing.
Seventy-one employees will lose their jobs when the Janesville store closes. The retailer expects the closures to save the company about $65 million a year.
"It's sad. It's been here for a long time, and we do shop here. I'm just shocked, “Janesville resident Ken Hjertquist said. He's concerned how the closure will impact the community.
"There's a lot of unemployment here, we survived GM but we'll see what happens now," Hjertquist said.
How does the troubled retailer's planned closing mesh with the earlier Gazette story?
To be fair, the Gazette story about record retail sales was based on a straight-up comparison of a 2.3% increase in 2013 dollars to sales in 2008 - which by the way is not fair at all. Unfortunately, the "record retail sales" story was narrated by two of Gov. Scott Walker's local boosters, James Otterstein and John Beckord, for low info reader consumption. It contained zero professional analysis.