Sears, the original anchor store at Texas City’s Mall of the Mainland, will close its doors in late October, according to a statement from TransformCo, the holding company that bought Sears Holdings Corp. after it filed bankruptcy last year.
“It’s sad to see that Sears will be going away but that company, I guess, has gone by the wayside,” Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said. “The big catalog company has gone away.
“It’s an important reminder of how important it is to shop locally.”
The Sears store at Mall of the Mainland, 10000 Emmett Lowry Expressway, opened in 1991.
The number of store employees affected by the closing is not being released, according to TransformCo. Some eligible employees will be offered severance packages, the company said.
The Sears Auto Center attached to the department store will close in late August, according to TransformCo.
Jerome Karam, owner of Mall of the Mainland, who has converted some empty department store buildings in the mall to new purposes, said he had not been told about the closing of the Sears store.
“They have not reached out to us, and we have not reached out to them,” Karam said. “We’ll regroup and figure out whether this is an opportunity to redevelop the property into something new of not.”
Karam does not own the Sears building.
“We’re just neighbors,” he said.
TranformCo on Tuesday released a list of 21 Sears stores and five Kmart stores due to close by the end of October. Among the list were two stores in Texas: the one in Texas City and one in Hurst.
“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores,” the TransformCo statement said, citing challenges including a weak retail environment and differences with Sears Holdings over the two companies’ purchase agreement.
“These challenges have unfortunately affected our performance and limited our strategic choices,” TransformCo said.
The company plans to stick to a strategy of opening more smaller-format stores under the brand Sears Home & Life, stores dedicated to selling home goods, according to TransformCo. Generally these smaller stores are about 1/10th the size of the big stores, like the one at Mall of the Mainland.
TransformCo also is in the process of closing on the purchase of the remaining Sears Hometown and Outlet or SHO stores that sell tools, outdoor goods and appliances. About 650 of them remain open, according to the SHO corporate website.
The Sears Appliance Outlet Store in Webster will not be affected by the closings announced this week, management at that store confirmed Wednesday.
Closures of more Sears and Kmart stores in the near future cannot be ruled out, TransformCo said.