Business

Overland Park Sears at Metcalf South will close in September

The Sears store at the south end of Metcalf South Shopping Center, pictured on May 25, 2016, will close, according to a newly published report.
The Sears store at the south end of Metcalf South Shopping Center, pictured on May 25, 2016, will close, according to a newly published report. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Sears Holdings Corp. said Thursday afternoon that it has made “the difficult, but necessary decision” to close the Sears store and Sears Auto Center at 9701 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

The store, which anchored the Metcalf South Shopping Center since the late 1960s, will close in mid-September. It will begin clearance sales on June 30.

The auto center will close in late July.

Company spokesman Howard Riefs said Sears has been “strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced.”

Metcalf South currently is under demolition to pave the way for a Lowes home improvement store. The Sears property is separately owned by Seritage, a real estate investment trust, and is not part of the redevelopment plan by Lane4 Property Group and the Kroenke Group.

“We just learned the Sears news today, and we’ve not had any discussions to date with them (about the future of the property),” said Mike Berenbom, Lane4 vice president. “We’ve coordinated with them on demolition and redevelopment so far, and they’ve been great to work with.”

Berenbom said Lane4 could consider expanding its current redevelopment plan to include the Sears site, but the company for now is focused on the acreage it already owns.

The Metcalf store is among a round of 20 more stores that will close in addition to 245 closings announced earlier this year. That round included the Sears store at Antioch Crossing , 5415 N.E. Antioch Rd.

The Antioch store is having a liquidation sale now and is slated to close in late July.

“We understand that members may be disappointed when we close a store, but our Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps allow us to maintain these valued relationships long after a store closes its doors,” Riefs said, referring to the effect of online shopping on brick-and-mortar retail locations.

Remaining Sears locations are listed on Sears’ website.

Riefs said the number of employees at the Metcalf store is not publicly available. He said eligible employees will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

The closings will leave Sears with about 1,180 stores, down from 2,073 five years ago, according to Business Insider.

The Star’s Joyce Smith contributed to this report.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford

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