It’s a mix of open and closed at the Indiana Mall.
“Harbor Freight is still open,” mall Manager Sherry Renosky said Wednesday. “There are select stores still open.”
On the other hand, J.C. Penney is closed, along with Kohl’s, MovieScoop Indiana Mall Cinemas and several of the small shops.
On its website, Bath & Body Works called “extremely difficult” its decision to close stores in the Indiana Mall and elsewhere in the United States and Canada.
“This closure will also allow us to prioritize inventory to our online channel, so you can safely shop at home,” Bath & Body Works CEO Andrew Meslow said. “We’re working around the clock to deliver products to our distribution center to ensure we can fulfill your needs.”
J.C. Penney management announced Tuesday that its stores and business offices will be closed until April 2.
“With the effects of the outbreak being felt more each day, our primary concern and area of focus is and has been on the health and safety of our associates, our customers, and our communities,” J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau said in a news release. “We know this is a critical, unprecedented time and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted.”
According to the mall’s Facebook page, while some smaller shops are open from noon to 7 p.m., Harbor Freight continues to operate at its regular 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours.
“Our customers depend on us for the tools and equipment they need to make essential repairs,” Harbor Freight founder and owner Eric Smidt posted on that retail chain’s website.
“So we’re doing our best to continue to serve you with as little disruption as possible, but at the same time we’ll always put the health and safety of our people and customers first.”
That includes signs at the front entrance of each Harbor Freight store “reminding customers who are not feeling well to please shop online and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”
Smidt said customers have been asked to limit the quantity of purchases “on certain high-demand items,” such as nitrite gloves.
“As we become aware of any condition that could make any store or workplace unsafe, please rest assured that we immediately close stores or impacted areas of other facilities until those conditions have been addressed,” Smidt said.
While across the country many Kohl’s outlets
are on reduced hours
to ensure that they are well-staffed and cleaned during peak times, its Indiana Mall and other Keystone State outlets are closed at least through March 31.
“Kohl’s is following guidelines for the state and voluntarily closing all our stores in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Julia Markun, senior coordinator for public relations at Kohl’s headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “Additional updates will be shared after March 31.”
Renosky stressed the temporary nature of mall store closings.
“We’re going by the 15 days that was recommended,” the mall manager said.
On the mall’s website and Facebook page, the Zamias Services Inc.-managed property stresses the importance “to maintain a clean and safe shopping environment to our customers and employees. Mall staff is continually sanitizing surfaces, such as all mall entrance door handles, restroom areas, trash cans, and seating areas.”
Online the mall also reported that events scheduled there “have been postponed or canceled for now until the last week of April.”
Other mall businesses also closed in line with state guidelines, including Bradley’s Book Outlet, which plans to reopen March 30; Claire’s, which will be closed through March 27; Kay’s Jewelers, until further notice; Photos by Miss Kris, which “as of now” is closed through March 28; and American Eagle Outfitters, who said “we will miss you” and “Keep Smiling,” until a scheduled March 28 reopening.
“I hope to resume classes March 30,” Amy Wirt posted outside Tate’s Gymnastics Center. “Updates will be on our Facebook page.”
Luxenberg’s, “to protect our customers and employees,” transferred all repairs and layaways to its downtown Indiana store. And in line with other PennDOT operations across the state, the driver’s license bureau at the mall is closed at least until March 30.
On the other hand, GNC remains open, “providing the essential products and services sought by consumers to support their immune health and wellness,” but asked customers “to not congregate in the store and please consider using curbside pick-up, when available.”
Others still open
include Jewelry Junction, Spencer’s, Three Square Self Serve Market,
The Shoe Department, Tracey’s Upscale Resale, Sobek Fitness, Indiana County Tourist Bureau and an Indiana County Transit Authority (IndiGO) station.
Also still open at the mall is It’s A New Life Coffee & Café, which is affiliated with New Life Community Church and operates Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. — with the café accessible from outside the mall until noon.
“The church shares the space with the café,” said lead barista Sydney Crane. “All the tips and donations go to missions.”
This month donations are going to help Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Food Pantry and Help Center.
“We are going to collect (canned) goods, granola bars, instant soup in cups and mac’n cheese,” the café posted on Facebook. “We are also going to
collect feminine needs products for the help center.”
The church also is offering free kids’ chicken nugget meals.
Café items are takeout only right now because of state restrictions, and orders can be made by phone at (724) 471-2981, online through its Facebook page or utilizing a Toast Takeout App with iPhones.