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Some Sears, Kmart stores set to close days before Christmas as former Tacoma site awaits demolition

Sears in Tacoma has been closed, but troubles continue for the company.

Sears in Tacoma has been closed, but troubles continue for the company.
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Sears in Tacoma has been closed, but troubles continue for the company.

Sears has faded rapidly from Western Washington’s retail landscape, and a scattered round of new closures outside of Washington state are happening days before Christmas.

Tacoma Mall saw its Sears leave in September. As that store was in its final days, a new list was released of 46 more store closures, which for Washington included Vancouver Mall’s Sears and its auto center.

The auto center’s closure date was listed as October, and the store in November. A Sears and Kmart store in Oregon also were on that list.

Now, Business Insider reports that individual cities elsewhere are starting to see new state employment notices for Sears and Kmart stores not on the August list.

These additional stores are in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia and California. Some of the stores are closing in mid-December, with at least one closing as late as Dec. 23, according to reports.

The discovery of those closures comes one year after Sears touted its reinvestment in its legendary holiday Wish Book online. A similar push is planned again this year, according to a Sears brand representative in a Chicago Business Journal interview earlier this week.

Its CEO last month proposed a restructuring of the retail chain’s debt as a repayment deadline looms. Other areas are seeing signs of life, as the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based retailer just opened a refreshed Sears in Oak Brook, Illinois.

In Washington state, just under 30 Sears-related properties still exist (not counting auto centers). Ten of those still listed on the company’s site are Sears stores, the rest are either Hometown Stores or Appliance Outlet stores. Though five Kmart store locations are still listed on its site, Kent’s Kmart at 24800 W. Valley Highway in July was slated for mid-October closure.

Meanwhile, Tacoma Mall’s Sears site is facing demolition, to be replaced with multiple new buildings, including a movie theater. The anticipated demolition start date listed on the project’s application is Jan. 1. The permit, filed in July, is under review.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell
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