Real Estate and Retail

Big-box retailer closing stores

January 5, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Sears store interior
Sears is a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation, which also consists of Kmart and Roebuck and Co. Photo via wikimedia.org

A big-box retailer is vacating a local mall and closing another store at a shopping center in the region.

Sears Holdings Corporation announced yesterday the closure of 11 Michigan Kmart and Sears stores, including the Woodland Mall Sears and Muskegon Kmart at 1501 E. Apple Ave.

The Woodland Mall Sears is the only Michigan Sears to be announced in this wave of closings, and the Muskegon Kmart is the only West Michigan Kmart in the announcement.

Sears Holdings said the stores have struggled financially for years.

“Sears Holdings will continue to strategically and aggressively evaluate our store space and productivity and accelerate the closing of some unprofitable stores, as the company has previously announced,” Sears Holdings said in a statement. “The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step, as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation.”

Woodland Mall Sears

The Woodland Mall Sears is the mall’s largest anchor tenant, at 313,000 square feet. Other anchor tenants at the mall include JCPenney, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Celebration! Cinema and Barnes & Noble.

The owner of Woodland Mall, Philadelphia-based PREIT, also announced the closure of the Sears location yesterday.

PREIT said the closure of three Sears stores in its portfolio were in anticipation of Sears closures.

The Woodland Mall store will be replaced by a fashion department store, “providing a remarkable opportunity to enhance this premier property,” PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino said.

“These store re-captures are an opportunity to continue to enhance the shopper experience, drive traffic and create value by executing on re-positioning plans at these three market-dominant assets,” Coradino said. “The transactions are part of PREIT’s plan to continue upgrading its properties, following our aggressive portfolio disposition and re-positioning program, which has created a quality platform that is more compelling to retailers.”

PREIT now has 11 Sears and Kmart stores in its portfolio, down from 27 prior to the announcement by Sears Holdings.

Potential replacements at Woodland Mall

According to the Woodland Mall marketing brochure on PREIT’s website, a map dated Nov. 11, 2016 includes an 88,332-square-foot Von Maur as the anchor replacement. A proposed 60,579-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods or Golf Galaxy is also included.

Other proposed stores on the mall map include REI, The Container Store, Yard House, J. Alexanders, Kona Grill, Mission BBQ and Shake Shack.

Kmart closures

The Muskegon Kmart is one of 10 Michigan Kmarts closing this year, according to Sears Holding Corporation.

Liquidation sales at the locations will begin as early as Jan. 6.

Employees of the Michigan stores were told on Jan. 4 of the closings. Eligible employees will receive severance and opportunities to apply for new positions at other Kmart or Sears stores.

Other Michigan Kmart stores include Acme Township, Adrian, Garden City, Jackson, Lansing, Plymouth, Roseville, Waterford and Westland.

Kmart saw a $27-billion drop in sales, from $37 billion to $10 billion, from 2000 to 2015, according to a Moody’s report.

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