Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Part 3 of Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

In Part 2 of Sears, a tale of the retail apocalypse, I wrote "As Sears closes more stores, expect to see more scenes like this.  When that happens, I'll post a third part to this mini-series."  On Thursday, Sears Holdings did just that, as Wochit Business reported in Sears Closes 46 Store Locations.

Business Insider reports, "Sears is closing even more stores. The department-store chain was once the largest retailer in the United States but has cut its store count in half in the last five years." Forty-six of it's [sic] store locations are set to close in the next year. They include 13 Kmart stores and 33 Sears stores. Their closing sales are starting on August 30th, and after these next 46 locations close that brings up the total number of their locations that have closed to almost 300. The company made this announcement, "We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which is a critical component to our integrated retail transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed."
The map above shows one of the locations in this latest wave is in Jackson, Michigan, which is in a mall where I shopped when I I lived out in the country.  I found an MLive story about the closing, but no video.  The article mentioned that it was the only Michigan location closing announced last week, but noted that stores in "Flint, Traverse City, Dearborn, Troy, and Sterling Heights" were already in the process of shutting down.  Troy?  That wasn't on the list of outlets I referenced in Part 1 of Sears, a tale of the retail apocalypse.  It turns out that it was announced in July, as WDIV/Click on Detroit reported in Sears closing at Oakland Mall location in Troy.

The Sears at the Oakland Mall in Troy will be closing.
My wife and I have shopped at that Sears, although we prefer the Macy's there.  Just the same, this is the first sign that the Oakland Mall, which I thought was getting a little long in the tooth when we went there, is starting to die.  It will take a while for it to close like Northland Mall, but unless it gets a replacement anchor, the process has officially started.  That hurts, although my wife and I have a Sears just a bit closer at Twelve Oaks Mall.  I don't think that one will close until the entire chain goes under, which should happen next year, as Twelve Oaks Mall is still thriving.  When that happens, it will hurt.

I conclude today's episode of the ongoing story of the Retail Apocalypse with USA Today explaining the emotional impact of retail chains declining and closing in Why seeing Sears stores close hurts hearts.

With Sears closing stores amid a mountain of debt, the end may be drawing near for the iconic American retailer, and many of us aren't ready.
I've been mourning ever since I posted Vox on America's dying malls as failed third spaces in April.


  1. Our Sears, or the one in Glens Falls anyway, is closing in September. There is still a Kmart that does nearly no business probably because they are not much more than a stone's throw from a Walmart. There was a time, I understand, when you could buy a house from Sears.

    Re the dead mall clip. Our mall will now be down to one anchor out of three. Bon ton and Sears gone with Penney's left to hold the boat in place. The clip mentions the movie theater. That's about the only reason I go to the mall. Our food court's pizza place is gone. For awhile there was a place that sold poutine. That was too adventurous, I guess. There's Chinese and Subway now and that's all, I believe.

    I'm just venturing this, but would it maybe be environmentally advantageous to see malls die? Trying to see the silver lining here. And ease my guilt over ordering from Amazon whenever I need anything rather than driving all over looking for it.

    1. Between KMart and WalMart, I'd rather go to Target. :-)

      I recall one could buy a house from Sears, but that was before our time.

      Your mall is in worse shape than Oakland Mall. That's what Northland Mall was like when I stopped going there, just one anchor. It was sad.

      It might be advantageous if we had fewer malls, although I don't have a good rationale worked out. I'll think about it.