Sears announced the closure of its Meadows Mall store, but the news met with little sympathy from shoppers who drove to downtown Las Vegas on Monday afternoon.
“I never shop there, but my parents do their shopping there,” said Henry Guevara.
The Las Vegas resident remembers visiting Sears as a child, while his parents were shopping at the department store.
“I just grew up,” he said, explaining why he never visited. “Sears looked more like our parents. There are so many other stores like Best Buy (and) Walmart. I’m not surprised… another chain of stores breaks down.
Lenette Fleming said she was unaware that Meadows Mall’s main tenant would be closing, but kept it simple when asked if she had made a purchase yet.
“No,” she said. “I had a friend who worked for Sears (but) I don’t know, I just never (shopped there).”
Parent company Transformco announced late last week that it would close the Meadows Mall store, located at 4300 Meadows Lane, along with 95 other Sears and Kmart stores by February.
The store is Sears’ last mall-anchored in Las Vegas, although the company operates two appliance stores in the Las Vegas Valley at 1437 W. Sunset Road in Henderson and 4854 W. Lone Mountain Road in Las Vegas. .
The Boulevard Mall store as well as another Sears at 4355 S. Grand Canyon Drive previously closed.
The Sears Meadows Mall is located on the second floor of the mall and occupies approximately 48% of its 139,200 square foot building, which is owned by the real estate investment trust of Sears Holdings Corp. Seritage Growth Properties, according to company documents.
Seritage leased part of the first floor, or 42,500 square feet, from Japan-based amusement store chain Round One Entertainment, which opened this month.
“Retail is changing”
Transformco had focused on relaunching the department store chain, but was facing “a tough retail environment and other challenges,” according to the company.
Although it has received around $ 250 million in new capital from its owners and a third-party investor, Transformco said it needs to further reduce its footprint to better streamline operations.
Retail Association of Nevada senior vice president Bryan Wachter said that like many other big box retailers, Sears is forced to adapt.
“Retail is changing and evolving because our consumers are changing and evolving,” Wachter said. “It’s the same story. We’ve seen this play out in a million different ways with other businesses – how well do you organize online and in-store, and how transparent are those two? I think we see Sears adapting to this (concept).
Other department stores such as Macy’s have also closed stores, but Transformco, owned by billionaire Edward Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments, bought the remaining assets of Sears Holdings Corp. in February for $ 5.2 billion to avoid complete liquidation.
Lampert is no stranger to Sears. He took control of the retail giant in 2005, then became managing director and chairman of the company in 2013, before stepping down when Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018.
At that time, the retailer operated 687 Sears and Kmart stores. That number will drop to 182, once its most recent closings are completed.