SEARS CLOS­ING FI­NAL KMART IN CHICAGO

Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS - BY ADAM THORP, STAFF RE­PORTER athorp@suntimes.com | @AdamKThorp

Kmart’s Avon­dale store — its last lo­ca­tion within Chicago’s city lim­its — is one of 40 stores Sears will close as the com­pany goes through bank­ruptcy.

In ad­di­tion to the store at 3443 W. Ad­di­son Street, Sears will close an­other Kmart in Cu­dahy, Wis­con­sin, as well as Sears stores in down­state Spring­field and in Janesville, Wis­con­sin, and Michi­gan City, In­di­ana, by Fe­bru­ary 2019.

The stores are ex­pected to be­gin clear­ance sales late next week.

Ald. Car­los Ramirez-Rosa (35th) said Fri­day that his of­fice had reached out to Sears about their plans for the Avon­dale site, which sits in his ward, but has not yet heard back. Any plan for the site that re­quired new zon­ing would have to go through a “com­mu­nity driven zon­ing and devel­op­ment” process that he has es­tab­lished in his ward.

The va­cated store is in a prime lo­ca­tion, and Ramirez-Rosa said he ex­pects it will at­tract many in­ter­ested par­ties. One com­pli­ca­tion: the huge space Kmart oc­cu­pied might need to be bro­ken up given trends in the re­tail in­dus­try away from huge brickand-mor­tar depart­ment stores, RamirezRosa said.

Sears filed for bank­ruptcy in Oc­to­ber, open­ing an­other trou­bled chap­ter for the sto­ried Chicago re­tailer. When it filed for bank­ruptcy, the com­pany said it planned to close 142 stores by the end of the year, in­clud­ing a Sears in Joliet and Kmarts in Nor­ridge and Grif­fith, In­di­ana.

The new round of clo­sures was an­nounced to em­ploy­ees Thurs­day. A press re­lease from Sears said the clo­sures were “part of Sears Hold­ings’ pro­cesses to ac­cel­er­ate its strate­gic trans­for­ma­tion and fa­cil­i­tate its fi­nan­cial re­struc­tur­ing.”

The last Sears store in Chicago, at Six Cor­ners in Portage Park, closed in July.

GETTY IMAGES

A Kmart store in Avon­dale, the com­pany’s last store in Chicago, is among40 new clos­ings an­nounced by par­ent Sears Hold­ings.

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