The Last Sears In Chicago's City Limits Is Closing
Sears has called Chicago home for 120 years. Soon, the troubled retailer will have no stores within the city limits. Employees at the Sears in the Six Corners business district were informed the store will close in mid-July after nearly 80 years at the corner of Milwaukee and Cicero avenues and Irving Park Road, the Chicago Tribune reports. The news comes one day after reports Sears defaulted on $500M in debt, one of 28 retailers to default in Q1.
The Six Corners Sears, noted for its Art Deco design, served 95,000 people when it opened on Oct. 20, 1938, and was the first air-conditioned Sears store. It was one of 265 Sears and Kmart stores sold to Seritage Growth Properties in 2015, in sale-leaseback deals.
A liquidation sale will begin April 27. An adjacent Sears Auto Center will close in mid-May. Store employees will receive a severance package and the opportunity to apply for open positions at Sears or Kmart. Sears still has stores in Niles, Chicago Ridge, North Riverside, Vernon Hills and Bloomingdale.
Despite the efforts of Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert, the retailer has been unable to reverse its fortunes. Lampert provided loans to prop up Sears through his firm ESL Investments — loans backed by Sears inventory and receivables. The sale-leasebacks make vacant Sears stores attractive repositioning opportunities. AMC Theatres is adapting a shuttered Sears store in Orland Park into a 10-screen multiplex. A vacant Sears store in Fairfax, Virginia, is being repurposed into a Dave & Buster's and a restaurant, and one in Houston is being turned into an innovation hub by Rice University.