News hit the Bulletin today that the Sears store—long one of the anchors of the Bend River Mall (later, Promenade rather than Mall)—will be closing by the end of the year:
The Sears department store and the Sears Auto Center at the Bend River Promenade on Northeast Third Street will close in mid-December, a spokesman for the parent company confirmed today. No other Sears stores in the region will close, according to Howard Riefs director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings Corp.
And tonight KTVZ had more detail:
The store will begin its liquidation sale on Friday, said Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings. The store’s 48 employees were notified of the decision on Monday.
The retailer’s recent string of “store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said.
As most American shoppers know, Sears has been in a struggle for years, closing hundreds of stores across the country to tighten its belt amid the surge in business for low-cost retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as Macy’s and Kohls – not to mention online retailers.
So even though Sears has been struggling in recent years, it’s still somewhat surprising to hear they are closing. That store has been here since 1980—33 years, that’s a long time, long enough to be firmly planted as a permanent fixture for many Bendites, I imagine. It’s going to be weird to not have it here.