It's everyone's dream: The store closes early and you get your own private shopping spree.
That's basically what happened on Sunday, April 8 as the JCPenney at Weberstown Mall closed its doors to everyone except Delta College and University of the Pacific students, who were given three hours to take advantage of deep discounts on a wide array of career apparel.
The hope is that the Suit-Up event -- one of many that JCPenney hosts across the country this time of year -- will help students who otherwise might not be able to afford a nice jacket for that first interview, or new slacks for that first job.
"I wish I would have had an event like this when I was in college," said Shayla Walker, Delta's director of student activities.
JCPenney offered 40 percent off of the already discounted amount. And students responded. By the end of the evening, about 250 had poured into the store. There, they were greeted by other students and staff, a tray of refreshments and festive balloons. Some students were soon leaving with bags full of merchandise.
One student had saved a $100 gift card for this very occasion, Walker said. With the deep discounts that were offered, that $100 went much further than it otherwise would have.
"Graduation is coming up," Walker said. "It's the perfect time to have an event like this so students can be professionally prepared for transitioning to career, transitioning for graduation, or getting ready for any transition in life."
Anjru de Leon, vice president of the Associate Students of Delta College, said students seemed "very excited" about the event.
"I think it really helps the community," he said. "The store is closed and it's really accommodating for our students... they are sacrificing business to help our students, and that's really noble."
Any opportunity as a community college student to save money, he said, is worth taking advantage of.
"They're offering it at very low prices that our students can afford," de Leon said. "I'm really happy about that."