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Hibbett Sports Opens During Time of Change For Nittany Mall

by on April 25, 2015 11:19 AM

The Nittany Mall is in a time of change.

The recent closing of anchor store J.C. Penney means a new major outlet is on the way, but for the time being, Hibbett Sports is the mall's newest addition.

The athletic retailer opened shop in Nittany Mall on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., rivaling competitors like Champs and Finish Line in State College's main shopping destination. Hibbett offers products from Nike, Under Armour, and other major athletic lines.

"We're excited to be a part of the State College community. We have a ton of Penn State merchandise for people to choose from," says store manager Pearlina Harris. "Something that Hibbett Sports does is great customer service. Anything you need, our employees are knowledgeable and ready to help the customers."

It was fairly quiet at the store in its first hour of business, but Harris says Hibbett brings a new perspective on the typical sports retail store. Mall general manager Polly Welch was excited about the addition.

"Any time you have a new, fresh store that opens up in an environment like that, it's an opportunity for the community to purchase newer items," she says. "It's always exciting when somebody new comes in."

While there are already sports stores in the mall, Welch says Hibbett differentiates itself enough to avoid any toe-stepping.

"Some of the product line is different, so they'll reach some of the same demographic as some of the similar locations in the mall, but they're different enough and have enough of a variety that it won't interfere with any of the other stores," she says.

As for the glaring empty space at Nittany Mall, Welch hopes to make an announcement soon on J.C. Penney's replacement.

"Right now, we have four different national companies looking at the store. I'm hoping to be able to make an announcement very soon as to who's moving in there," she says. "It'll be a new store, somebody who has never been here before, and that in itself is exciting. Hopefully it will be bring shoppers back into the mall to see what's there."


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Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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