Another store will soon close at mall
PENNSDALE – Despite an increase in sales, Lycoming Mall’s FYE is liquidating its stock, and fans of music, movies, television and anything popular culture will have lost a local mainstay in entertainment retail by the end of the summer.
For Your Entertainment, a store that sells everything from CDs, records and movies to action figures and T-shirts, announced recently it would be permanently closing, to the surprise of both its employees and customers. The reason for the closure still is unclear.
“It certainly was a shock. It came completely out of left field,” Hunter Burleson, senior assistant store manager, said. “Our store was on a general uptick, we were doing quite well with sales and general satisfaction.”
Customers also were upset learning that the business was going under, many having memories of leafing through CDs as teenagers.
“It used to be a hangout thing to do on Friday nights. You can’t do that anymore,” Debbie Paulus, of Williamsport, said. Paulus, who, along with many customers, was enjoying liquidation discounts from 40 to 80 percent off on Monday, but still mourned the loss of the business.
“It does make me feel old that these places that were popular with adolescents for years are going away,” Justin Engle, of Northumberland, said.
For Burleson and the other employees, finding jobs has been difficult, not from a lack of opportunities, but because the company hasn’t yet announced a closing date for the store.
“There are other positions opened for other stores so that shouldn’t be an issue,” he said. “But until we have an official date, we can’t put a date on our resumes.”
In the past year, the Lycoming Mall FYE hit a stride that Burleson said meant it was able to serve customers better than it did in the past but that it seems like their store was closed despite its current sales numbers.
“As it stands, retail and the way we operate is all changing due to online distribution and there’s nothing we can do – it’s a changing of the times,” Burleson said.
The most FYE’s employees can do now is ensure the store closes properly and that they get severance, according to Burleson, but he and his coworkers agree there was a bond among the employees that will be hard to replace.
“We are all a pretty tight knit group,” said Seanna Cole, who worked at the store for a year. “It hurts.”
FYE is one of many staple stores at the mall to close its doors. JC Penney, Macy’s, Bon Ton and others have left in recent years.