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Racine mall to stay open despite closures

     Another anchor store is leaving the Regency Mall in Racine and it's got the community wondering how much longer the mall will remain open.  JC Penney announced this month that their Racine store is under performing and eighty jobs will be cut. But Mayor John Dickert says it's not the end of the mall, but rather the start of something new.

\"We're seeing a lot of transitions the mall but then again we're seeing a lot of transitions in malls period,\" said Dickert. And it's a much needed transition for Regency mall according to some Racine residents.

\"The mall is kinda dying. There aren't as many people that shop there anymore,\" said one shopper. 

\"It'll be hard for people to shop in Racine and I think it's too bad that they're closing and I think it'll be a wonderful thing for Racine to keep them open,\" said another. 

\"It's such a shame. It really is. You know we lost Sears which was another cornerstone and now Penney's which is another cornerstone so the future doesn't look good,\" said one other shopper. 

Dickert says the type of stores people want and where they want them is changing. Plans are still in the works but a company from Illinois plans to rework the JC Penney building and subdivide it into at least three new stores.

\"The mall itself doesn't have anything in there so people who go in there to shop, they don't have anything to shop for,\" said a shopper. 

\"People are looking for different types of shopping experiences plus a lot of this is online,\" said Mayor Dickert. Still, he hopes that the in person experience cannot compare to the ease of shopping online. 

\"People still want to feel and touch what they're buying. We do not see the mall closing anytime soon,\" he said. 

As for Racine JC Penney workers, they will move to nearby stores and JC Penney is offering them on-site job training. The city of Racine says they have also spoken with workers and plan to work with any who choose to leave JC Penney. 

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