The end of Sears at Belden Village Mall is near.
The closure comes just after the store was downsized to one floor and was completely remodeled.
Sears has been struggling financially for years and has been closing stores across the country. The company nearly liquidated in late 2018, but was saved by a last minute bid to keep the company afloat.
Sears’ officials didn’t return a request for comment from The Suburbanite, but told the Canton Repository:
“After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close” the Belden Village Mall store, said Larry Costello, publicity director for Transform Holdco., the company that now owns the store.
In late 2018, Seritage Growth Properties, which owns the Sears’ property at Belden Village Mall, announced Dave & Busters would occupy a portion of the upstairs of the Sears’ store and Sears would be downsized to one floor. Sears’ footprint in the space went from 194,000 square feet to 74,000 square feet.
Dave & Busters will occupy a portion of the second floor and there is space for another tenant. Seritage Growth Properties plans show space for three additional tenants on the first floor on the south side of the mall.
It remains unclear what will become of the Sears’ space once the store closes.
“We are always disappointed to see a business close. Sears has been a household name for many years,” Jackson Township Fiscal Officer/Economic Development Director Randy Gonzalez said. “We wish the employees at Sears’ success in finding work at these new businesses or other work that may suit their needs.”
Gonzalez said the township has been working with Seritage Growth Properties to bring Dave & Busters and plans are in the works for the Sears Auto Center to be demolished to make way for a Cheddars restaurant.
“Both of these new additions to the mall will help bring more people to the area,” Gonzalez said.
Sears is one of the original anchors of Belden Village Mall when it opened in 1970.
“Sears was a staple at Belden Village for many years and we are grateful for their partnership,” Belden Village Mall General Manager Mike Walsh said. “As always, we are committed to making Belden Village Mall a vibrant and community oriented destination and I am confident that we will continue to bring first class options to the area.”
A liquidation sale is already underway and the last day for Sears will be Jan. 12.
The closure of the Sears at Belden Village Mall leaves the area with no local stores. The nearest Sears is at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted.
Seritage Growth Properties also owns the retail space where Kmart is in North Canton, which remains open.
Recently, it was announced the Barberton Kmart would close in December. The North Canton and Tallmadge Kmart will close in February.
This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com