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Sat, Dec. 07

Sears at Prescott Gateway Mall to close in February
Store part of beleaguered company’s latest round of 96 Sears/Kmart closures nationwide

The indoor entrance to Sears at Prescott Gateway Mall. After 18 years at the mall, the store will close for good in February 2020. (Doug Cook/Courier)

The indoor entrance to Sears at Prescott Gateway Mall. After 18 years at the mall, the store will close for good in February 2020. (Doug Cook/Courier)

Nearly 18 years after its grand opening at Prescott Gateway Mall, the Sears department store will close for good in February.

Transformco, the company that bought the Sears and Kmart conglomerate during its bankruptcy one year ago, on Thursday, Nov. 7, announced plans to close 51 Sears stores and 45 Kmart stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.

On Dec. 2, after its Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, a liquidation/going-out-of-business sale is scheduled to begin at the Prescott Sears, built in March 2002 at 3400 Gateway Blvd. It’s the only Sears in Arizona listed in Transformco’s latest round of cuts.

The Gateway Mall Sears represented the last Sears and/or Kmart store left in the Quad Cities. With Sears’ imminent departure, JCPenney and Dillard’s will be the last remaining department stores at the mall.

Gary Walden, 66, an employee in the MPU Department (associated with tools) at the Prescott Sears, said management told him not to comment about the store’s closure. Walden had also worked at the Prescott Valley Kmart before it closed three years ago.

“I’m teetering on the prospect of maybe retiring,” said Walden, adding that he believes some 30 people are employed at the Prescott Sears, although he couldn’t confirm the exact number. “But I want to stick around until the end [at Sears] because I like the people I work with. The future isn’t in my hands – it’s in the higher power’s hands.”

Sears employees at the Prescott Gateway Mall were notified Nov. 7 of the store’s shuttering. The Prescott Sears’ manager, Gateway Mall management, the Sears Holdings media relations department nor the firm handling its advertising would comment about the matter to the Courier.

Over the past 15 years, Sears and Kmart have shut down more than 3,500 stores and slashed nearly 250,000 jobs.

Prescott lost its Kmart in 2009, which became a C-A-L Ranch Store at 1048 Willow Creek Road, and Prescott Valley lost its Kmart in 2016, which is Pruitt’s Fine Furniture at 7550 Highway 69.

“I’m just sorry for the people I work with, especially the ones that rely on this for their main source of income,” Walden added about the Prescott Sears.

This latest round of Sears and Kmart store closures represents one-third of the company’s remaining locations. Transformco representatives say ESL Investments, which is a hedge fund, as well as its owners and a third-party investor freed up $250 million in financing to try to keep the retailer afloat.

When all is said and done, the company will have only 182 stores left. The Sears Hometown stores, which sell home appliances, equipment and tools, were spared from this week’s cuts.

“We will endeavor to create and deliver value through a strategic combination of our better-performing retail stores and our service businesses, brands and other assets, and expect to realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate,” Transformco stated.

photo

The Sears at Prescott Gateway Mall had already been advertising a clearance sale in its appliances department before word came Nov. 7 of the store’s imminent closure in February 2020. (Doug Cook/Courier)

WHICH ARE CLOSING?

List of Sears and Kmart stores to be shuttered after Nov. 7 announcement:

SEARS

• Arkansas (1) – North Little Rock: 3930 McCain Blvd.

• Arizona (1) – Prescott: 3400 Gateway Blvd.

• California (19) – Buena Park: 8150 La Palma Ave.; Chula Vista: 565 Broadway; Fresno: 3636 N Blackstone Ave.; Los Angeles: 3755 Santa Rosalia Drive; Montclair: 5080 Montclair Plaza Lane; Moreno Valley: 22550 Town Circle; North Hollywood: 12121 Victory Blvd.; Palm Desert: 72-880 Hwy 111; Riverside: 5261 Arlington Ave.; San Bernadino: 100 Inland Center; San Bruno: 1178 El Camino Real; San Jose: 2180 Tully Road; Santa Maria: 200 Town Center East; Temecula: 40710 Winchester Road; Tracy: 3350 Naglee Road; Ventura: 3295 E. Main St.; Victorville: 14420 Bear Valley Road; Visalia: 3501 S Mooney Blvd.; West Covina: 1209 Plaza Drive.

• Florida (3) – Fort Myers: 4125 Cleveland Ave.; Hialeah: 1625 W. 49th St.; Miami: 20701 SW 112th Ave.

• Georgia (1) – Douglasville: 6580 Douglas Blvd.

• Illinois (2) – Peoria: 2200 W. War Memorial Drive; West Dundee: 5000 Spring Hill Mall.

• Maryland (1) – Cumberland: 1262 Vocke Road

• Massachusetts (2) – Auburn: 385 Southbridge St.; Leominster: 100 Commercial Road.

• Michigan (1) – Lansing: 3131 E Michigan Ave.

• Missouri (1) – Joplin: 101 N. Rangeline Road.

• Nevada (1) – Las Vegas: 4000 Meadow Lane.

• New Hampshire (2) – Nashua: 310 Daniel Webster Highway; Concord: 270 Loudon Road.

• New Mexico (1) – Farmington: 4601 E Main St.

• New York (1) – Buffalo: S. 3701 McKinley Parkway.

• North Carolina (1) – Greenville: 3600 S. Memorial Drive.

• Pennsylvania (2) – Whitehall: 1259 Whitehall Mall; North Wales: 600 Montgomery Mall.

• Puerto Rico (3) – FajaRoado: State Road 3; Guayama: GPO Box 1050; Ponce: POB 7426 Sears Plaza Del Caribe, 2050 Road 2 Ponce By Pass Suite 135.

• Texas (1) – San Antonio: 2310 SW Military Drive.

• Vermont (1) – South Burlington: 155 Dorset St.

• Virginia (4) – Richmond: 11500 Midlothian Turnpike; Manassas: 8200 Sudley Road; Fredericksburg: 100 Spotsylvania Mall; Winchester: 1850 Apple Blossom Drive.

• Washington (2) – Spokane: 14720 E. Indiana Ave.; Lacey: 651 Sleater Kinney Road SE.

KMART

• Arizona (1) – Lake Havasu City: 1870 McCulloch Blvd.

• California (9) – Atascadero: 3980 El Camino Real; Bishop: 1200 N Main St.; Chico: 2155 Pillsbury Road; Concord: 5100 Clayton Road; Hollister: 491 Tres Pinos Road; Petaluma: 261 N. McDowell Blvd.; Riverside: 7840 Limonite Ave.; Santa Paula: 895 Faulkner Road; Scotts Valley: 270 Mt. Hermon Road.

• Delaware (1) – Rehoboth Beach: 19563 Coastal Highway.

• Florida (3) – Bradenton: 7350 Manatee Ave. West; Hollywood: 3800 Oakwood Blvd.; Lantana: 1201 S. Dixie Highway.

• Iowa (2) – Algona: 1501 Highway 169 North; Charles City: 1405 S. Grand.

• Maryland (3) – Frederick: 1003 W. Patrick St.; Hagerstown: 1713 Massey Blvd.; Hyattsville: 6411 Riggs Road.

• Massachusetts (2) – Acton: 252 Main St.; Billerica: 484 Boston Road.

• Michigan (1) – Waterford: 5100 Dixie Highway.

• New Hampshire (2) – Hooksett: 1267 Hooksett Road; Salem: 161 S. Broadway

• New Jersey (1) – West Orange: 235 Prospect Ave.

• New York (2) – Bohemia: 5151 Sunrise Highway; Sidney: 171 Delaware Ave.

• North Dakota (1) – Bismarck: 2625 State St.

• Ohio (3) – Marietta: 502 Pike St.; North Canton: 1447 N Main St.; Tallmadge: 555 South Ave.

• Oregon (1) – The Dalles: 2640 West 6th St.

• Pennsylvania (5) – Berwick: 1520 W. Front St.; Ephrata: 1127 S. State St.; Lebanon: 1745 Quentin; Wilkes Barre: 910 Wilkes Barre Township Blvd.; Williamsport: 1915 E. Third St.

• Puerto Rico (5) – Arecibo: 1400 Ave. Miramar; Bayamon: Plaza Rio Hondo; FajaRoado: Eastern Shopping Center S.R. 3; Juana Diaz: Road #149 and #584 Plaza Juana Diaz; Vega Alta: Centro Gran Caribe Road #2 Plaza Caribe Mall.

• Wisconsin (1) – Kenosha: 4100 52nd St.

• Wyoming (2) – Charleston: 6531 McCorkle Ave. SE; Jackson: 510 U.S. Highway 89.

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