WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sears will close its Independence Mall location ahead of the mall’s renovation.
Signs could be seen on Oleander Drive Friday afternoon near the mall’s entrances stating, “Sears store closing. Everything must go.”
A Sears spokesman told WWAY that the store will close in late June. The liquidation sale started today, April 6.
The announcement comes a day after the Executive Vice President of Development for Rouse Properties, Eric Dinenberg, spoke at the Wilmington Biz Conference and Expo.
The mall is going to be renovated with some sections removed to allow for indoor and outdoor shops and restaurants. Accessibility and convenience are two concepts Rouse Properties want with the new center, but no word yet on which other tenants will stay and which will leave.
Sears released the following statement:
“We can confirm that we are making the difficult, but necessary decision to close the Sears store in Wilmington, NC. We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced. This is not an effort solely aimed at cost savings but is part of a strategy we’ have been executing against as many of our larger stores are too big for our needs. Having fewer stores – and the right format – will help us bring Sears Holdings to a size and place to meet the realities of the changing retail world. We understand that members may be disappointed when we close a store, but our Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps allow us to maintain these valued relationships long after a store closes its doors. As a result, we hope to retain a portion of the sales previously associated with this store by maintaining our relationships with the members who shopped this location. Our members and customers can also shop at our other Sears locations, which are listed at http://www.sears.com/stores.html. The number of associates is not publicly available. Those associates that are eligible will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores. No other area stores are impacted.”