Jo-Ann Fabrics will close its store at the Westmont Plaza early next spring and move to a larger location at the Garden State Pavilion on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, employees there said Wednesday.
Customers expressed shock and sadness when told of the move, which comes on the heels of the announced closing last month of the Superfresh market next door.
"I'm concerned," said Emma Redmer, 33, of Oaklyn, as she shopped for yarn and fabric. "They're losing a big client. They're pretty popular here. I hope they can find more tenants for this place, good tenants."
Redmer said she's unlikely to continue shopping at Jo-Ann's when it moves because she doesn't have a car.
"I ride a bike," she said, peering outside at snow and sleet that had just started to fall on Wednesday afternoon. "I gotta get out of here."
Zahsa Silliman, the store manager said Redmer's reaction is typical among many of her regulars.
"The people that live in the towers over there are pretty upset because a lot of them don't have vehicles," Silliman said, referring to the Haddonview apartments, which includes a sizable active-adult population. "They moved there because of the Superfresh and this plaza, so a lot of them are upset about it. Everyone, as a community, is pretty upset."
Silliman said their new location will be larger than the 14,800-square-foot store at Westmont Plaza.There are still no signs to announce the closing. Silliman said she learned about it earlier this month.
One of her employees, Betty Springle, has worked here for 13 years, since the store opened. She said the locals are going to miss it.
"The schools are going to miss us being here," said Springle, 54. "The teachers pop in at lunch time... It's sad."
Kathy Lucyszyn and her daughter, Laura Walton, said they will take the trip down Cuthbert Boulevard to Route 70 to Jo-Ann's new location. But they still worry what they'll leave behind.
"This was a nice place to come, it's close," said Lucyszyn, 59, formerly of Haddon Township. "It's almost like a domino effect. Once stores start closing, will other stores start closing?"
Superfresh anchors the Westmont Plaza shopping center at Cuthbert and MacArthur boulevards. Its closure next month will leave two supermarkets in Haddon Township, Acme on Cuthbert Boulevard and Thriftway on Crystal Lake Avenue.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Haddonview apartments are a retirement community. It has been updated.