MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Come February, there will be no more Sears in the Mid-South.
The company announced Thursday they added 40 more K-Marts and Sears to their list of closing stores.
John Gnuschke, Director of Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research at the University of Memphis said this was a long time coming.
“Sears has had difficulties,” Gnuschke said. “Anyone who ever went to a Sears store knew it.”
Some people in the Mid-South said Sears is a thing of the past, and they haven’t been in some time.
“A few years back,” shopper Charity Gaddy said. “Ever since Walmart, they kind of just took over.”
That’s why some shoppers believe the company made the decision to close 40 more stores. On the list this time- the Southland Mall Sears.
“Clearly Southland has lost all its major anchor stores,” Gnuschke said. “It’s probably the most sensitive to any further declines.”
These closures come less that one month after Sears filed for bankruptcy.
They announced that 142 stores, including the one at Wolfchase Galleria, would close by the end of the year. These closures will leave two massive buildings empty.
“It’s very difficult to fill up an anchor store or replace anchor store,” Gnuschke said. “They’re not many new stores coming in that need that kind of footprint.”
That opens space for new retail, but some shoppers told FOX13 malls are facing too much competition.
The disappearance of anchor stores could hurt malls overall. Gnuschke said he believes with a good business plan, malls will survive.
“If they have high-quality shopping in their neighborhood, people will shop there,” Gnuschke said.
“People have to understand that it’s going to take a major marketing effort to keep the mall open.”
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