Sears to close Empire Mall store

May 31, 2018

Sears in The Empire Mall is closing.

Parent company Sears Holdings Corp. is closing 48 Sears and 15 Kmart locations.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as June 14, and the stores will close in early September, according to a news release. The auto center in Sioux Falls will close in late June. Eligible employees will receive severance packages.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline the company’s operations and focus on our best stores, we have identified approximately 100 nonprofitable stores, many of which will begin store closing sales in the near future,” the company said.

The announcement from Sears comes just weeks after The Empire Mall  learned that another anchor, Younkers, is closing this summer.

The owner of The Empire Mall, Simon Property Group, sees the potential to draw new customers, boosting traffic at other stores too.

“As Sears continues to liquidate its stores, it’s a terrific opportunity for us to recapture this real estate and redevelop it in a brand-positive way,” Michael E. McCarty, chief operating officer of Simon Malls, said in a news release. “Our team is fully engaged in capitalizing on this opportunity and continues to pursue plans to replace Sears stores with new and compelling ways for consumers to live, work, play, stay and shop at these Simon destinations nationwide.”

Traditional mall businesses won’t be the only targets.

“A combination of innovative retail, restaurant and entertainment concepts are in play for each center,” McCarty said. “Mixed-use elements such as hotel, residential, office and fitness are also being incorporated.”

The latest closures for Sears come after another drop in revenue, down 30 percent in the most recent quarter from a year ago.

“As we look to the remainder of 2018 and beyond, we remain committed to restoring positive Adjusted EBITDA and will continue to explore opportunities to unlock the full potential of our assets for our shareholders,” chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said.

“This includes exploring third-party partnerships involving several of our businesses — such as Sears Home Services, Innovel, Kenmore and DieHard — and gaining further momentum around our new smaller store formats that blend brick and mortar and online experiences. We believe these initiatives, among others, will help us to strengthen the company and better position it for the future.”

Sears closed its Rapid City store last year. There are Sears Hometown stores in Mitchell, Yankton, Watertown, Aberdeen and Spearfish, according to the company’s website. They were not on Thursday’s closing list.

Empire Mall in strong position to attract department store replacements

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Sears to close Empire Mall store

Sears in The Empire Mall is closing.

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