Sears in Concord to shut as the company closes yet more stores nationwide

  • Sears in the Steeplegate Mall is set to close down. David Brooks / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/7/2019 3:30:40 PM

The end is near for Sears in Concord after almost three decades in the Steeplegate Mall.

Sears announced Thursday that it is shutting 51 Sears and 45 Kmart stores in the next few months, leaving a total of 182 locations open nationwide. Concord’s store, as well the store in Nashua, will be among those closing by February, according to lists provided by the company. Kmarts in Hooksett and Salem will also close.

Following last year’s closure of Bon-Ton, the departure of Sears will leave the Steeplegate Mall with just one traditional retail anchor, JC Penney. Sears and JC Penney were two of the original four anchors when the mall opened in 1990. The other two original department stores, Sage-Allen and Steinbach, both went out of business more than a decade ago.

The mall has filled several of its empty storefronts with untraditional tenants such as the Capital City Charter School, Hatbox Theater, Altitude Trampoline Park and the Zoo Health Club.

However, more than half of the locations that once held stores or restaurants are empty. That includes eight of the nine slots closest to Sears on the mall’s northern wing; only a T-shirt shop is operating there.

The closure was announced Thursday. Transformco, which bought Sears out of bankruptcy, said it had received a $250 million lifeline from lenders that include billionaire owner and company CEO Eddie Lampert, who has been trying to resurrect the fabled retailer for more than a decade.

The company recently closed on a deal to buy affiliated firm Sears Hometown, which sells lawn furniture and appliances. Sears Hometown has New Hampshire stores in Swanzey and Newport.

Between them, Sears and Kmart once had more than 3,500 stores in this country. Over the past 15 years, they have shut most of them, shedding roughly 250,000 jobs.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)



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