By Bill Robinson
When the JCPenney chain announced this week that it was closing 33 stores, many in Madison County looked to see if the Richmond Centre store was on the list.
However, that was not an issue for the chain’s Richmond manager Bill Birkenmeier.
His store has exceeded company expectations every year since 2008, when Birkenmeier became manager and it moved to Richmond Centre, he said.
Most of the stores in the closure announcement were small, about half the size of the Richmond Centre store, and much older, Birkenmeier said he understood.
While other stores may be closing, some “exciting changes” are coming this year for JCPenney in Richmond, he said.
The Richmond store will be one of 25 JCPenney stores this year to add a free-standing shop within the store for the Sephora line of cosmetics and fragrances, Birkenmeier said. It is scheduled to open June 21.
JCPenney also will be spending a significant amount of money this year to revamp the Richmond store and make it even more customer friendly, he said.
“We’re all about serving our customers,” Birkenmeier said, attributing the store’s success to its “very dedicated” employees.
The store had a good Christmas sales season, he said, with the Richmond sales out-performing the company average.