Sears Announces It’s Shutting Last Store in Home State of Illinois

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
September 17, 2021 Updated: September 17, 2021

Sears is shutting its last store in Illinois, its home state, the company announced this week.

The store, located in Woodfield Mall, is scheduled to shut its doors on Nov. 14, as part of a corporate plan to “redevelop and reinvigorate the property,” the Daily Herald reports.

A spokesperson for Sears’ parent company, Transformco, said they will still manage the space and are currently negotiating with retailers to fill the now-vacant property.

“This is part of the company’s strategy to unlock the value of the real estate and pursue the highest and best use for the benefit of the local community,” Transformco said in the announcement.

“With redevelopment of this location focused primarily on retail use, we intend to reinvigorate and maximize the value of the real estate while enhancing the consumer experience with popular retailers that fit the regional draw of Woodfield Mall,” said Scott Carr, president of real estate for Transformco.

The retailer was founded in Chicago in the 1890s, after initially starting as a mail-order catalog, and once served as America’s largest and most popular retailer where customers could find everything from homewares to apparel.

But in October 2018, Sears Holdings, which also owned Kmart, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid plunging sales and massive amounts of debt.

The company has struggled with outdated stores and complaints about customer service while also facing stiff competition from chains like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Macy’s, all of which have invested heavily in remodeling and creating a more enticing and modern shopping experience for customers.

Transformco later acquired Sears and promptly announced it was shutting down 96 more stores across the United States.

Further store closures followed and there were 34 Sears locations, including the one at Woodfield Mall, and 18 Kmart stores, remaining in August, brostocks reported.

Transformco said in the company’s statement that it has a more diverse plan for Sears and Kmart to operate a small number of larger, premier stores and a larger number of small-format stores going forward. The company will also continue to expand its Hometown Stores and Home & Life stores in cities and towns that previously had larger stores.

Sears Hometown Stores are smaller stores selling tools, appliances, and lawn and garden equipment, while its Home & Life stores, the first of which opened in 2019, are a relatively newer concept offering appliances, mattresses, and home services, and connected home products.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.