JC Penney Petoskey

A J.C. Penney store in Petoskey, Michigan, will close today after nearly a century as a downtown business. 

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — A J.C. Penney store will close today after nearly a century in downtown Petoskey.

A store in Traverse City will be the only Penney location in the northern Lower Peninsula after similar closings in Alpena and Cadillac, the Petoskey News-Review reported. 

The Petoskey store could be turned into new retail or restaurant space with apartments on the upper level, said Larry Rellinger, who provides property management services to the building’s owner.

Ben Blaho, who retired as a Penney senior merchandising manager in 1997, recalled a series of promotions to draw shoppers. He said the store rented a theater so children could watch movies.

“It gave mom a chance to shop downtown during the movie,” Blaho said.

The last manager, Doyle Miller, said customers have been visiting to say goodbye to staff.

“After 94 years, we are unfortunately not going to be able to serve the citizens of Emmet County and northern Michigan,” he said.

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