Local development leaders meet to try to save J.C. Penney


BUTTE, Mont. - Leaders from Butte local development groups came together to discuss a plan to save J.C. Penney, a store that announced it will be closing in May. Leaders from J.C. Penney, the Chamber of Commerce and local development groups met Friday morning at the Chamber of Commerce. Together they came up with four possible ways to keep J.C Penney from closing. "We're giving it 110 percent," said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marko Lucich. "We'll do whatever it takes to change their mind." The plan involves directly petitioning the J.C. Penney corporation. Lucich believes the company made its decision based on old statistics. Lucich, among many other community leaders, put together information that shows the Butte store is growing. But appealing to the company is just one part of the plan. They also plan a social media campaign. That would lay the foundation for building support from surrounding communities, like Anaconda and Whitehall, as well as local support in the Mining City . J.C. Penney Store Manager Machelle LeProwse told us she knows it will be tough but she's already seen a huge outpouring of support from the community "I know this is Butte, and Butte is Butte-tough, but you feel the love and everybody cares," Butte Plaza Mall Manager Alana Ferko said. Ferko said LeProwse has the skills, team, and energy, but she is in dire need of one thing -- "She just needs the time, she just needs to be able to show the store is profitable," Ferko said.