Although brick-and-mortar retail stores have seen a decline in business since the advent of internet shopping, it seems that the pandemic has exacerbated that decline for J.C. Penney, which filed for bankruptcy protection near the end of spring. As part of that filing, J.C. Penney has closed 154 of its stores, including this one in Rockingham and apparently also the one in Florence. I suppose I'll get pictures of that one some other day, though I go to Rockingham more often than Florence, and those trips are far less frequent due to trying to stay home as much as possible during the pandemic.
I can probably count on one hand the times that I visited a J.C. Penney in the last decade...maybe even two decades. When I absolutely have to go to a department store (something I did as less often as possible prior to the pandemic anyway), I go to Belk, and usually, I can find what I need there. That said, this J.C. Penney will be a tough loss for this shopping center. According to the above-linked article from The Richmond Observer, the owner of the shopping center had found another tenant to take the place of J.C. Penney last year when apparently it was not certain if this J.C. Penney was going to stick around. Unfortunately, one year later, the owner may have a harder time of finding another tenant.
Old B.C. Moore's Office, Front Street: 2006 (2020/11/26)
This building that faces Front Street and sits across East Market Street from the former location of Brigman's Auto Repair appears to have been used by B.C. Moore's years ago, perhaps as a small office building. I suppose that to be the case because of the old Moore's trailer sitting behind the building. I'm guessing the building was constructed during the mid-20th century due to the bricks looking more smoothly and uniformly shaped than, say, a 100+ year old brick would have been made to look. The building is currently being used by the Cheraw public works department, according to the sign out front.
The Lidl grocery store in Rockingham closed back in May of 2019. According to The Richmond Observer, Lidl closed this store location due to Richmond County being among "the top 40 most economically distressed counties in the state." Or maybe the store failed because Lidl placed it right next to a store location belonging to its main competitor, Aldi. I can't decide whether this store placement was bold or foolish; given the failure of the store within only a couple of years, I would lean toward foolish.
The building architecture is unique, and that may hurt its attracting another business to set up shop there. The location is currently up for lease as a retail location.