Cityscape

The last large-format Sears is closing in the KC area; liquidation to start soon

What’s coming, open, closed for KC-area restaurants and breweries in August 2019

Dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and event spaces are opening across the Kansas City region and in Lawrence, Kansas, in the next few months. Here is the list for August 2019 openings and closings.
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Dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and event spaces are opening across the Kansas City region and in Lawrence, Kansas, in the next few months. Here is the list for August 2019 openings and closings.

Independence Center will lose an original anchor store after 45 years of operations.

Sears plans to close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October, including its Independence Center location. The stores will start a liquidation sale on Aug. 15, and the auto centers also will close on that day.

Sears “streamlined” the store in 2015, downsizing so Dick’s Sporting Goods could relocate to the mall a year later.

In a statement, mall officials said: “The evolution of retail is happening nationwide and we’ve been taking steps behind the scenes to prepare for new entertainment and retail offerings that are more localized and interactive. We see an opportunity to use the Sears building to offer our customers and the community something new and exciting. Stay tuned for more updates coming later in 2019.”

In the area, other large-format Sears have been closed over the years, including at Antioch Crossing, Bannister Mall and Metcalf South Shopping Center.

In a statement, Sears Holdings said: “Over the past several months, we have worked hard to strengthen our vendor relationships, return our inventory levels to normal, and improve customer satisfaction and operations; however, we have faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity, including differences with Sears Holdings over our purchase agreement and a generally weak retail environment. ... Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”

The company said it could not rule out additional store closures in the near term.

It plans to accelerate the expansion of its smaller store formats, which include the Sears Home & Life stores. In May, it opened three new Home & Life stores, including one in Overland Park at 6327 W. 119th St. The stores focus on major appliances, mattresses, small kitchen appliances and other home products.

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Three new Sears Home & Life stores opened in May, including a local one at 6327 W. 119th St. in Overland Park. Joyce Smith jsmith@kcstar.com
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Sears was an original tenant of Independence Center when the mall opened at 18801 E. 39th St in 1974. Sears was advertised as “one-stop-shopping convenience for all your family needs from air conditioning to zippers.”

According to The Star’s archives, the development was by Homart Development Co., a subsidiary of Sears, on 30 acres at Interstate 70 and Missouri 291. At the time, Sears had 142,841 square feet, as well as a 2,000-square-foot freestanding tire, battery and accessory facility.

Independence Center currently has Dillard’s and Macy’s as anchor stores.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.
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