Tacoma Mall's Sears on latest list of store closings

The Sears at Tacoma Mall in November 2017. The retailer announced Thursday the store will close in September. Debbie Cockrell dcockrell@thenewstribune.com

Tacoma will say goodbye to its Sears store at the Tacoma Mall in early September.

The retailer said Thursday it had set its sights on 100 unprofitable stores, and closing sales would start at 72 of them "in the near future."

The auto center at the Tacoma Sears will close in late June.

The first wave of closures nationwide involves 15 Kmart stores and 48 Sears stores, including Tacoma's. No other Washington state store was on the list. A Portland Kmart was the only other Northwest store listed in this wave of closures.

"Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores," according to Sears's store list summary.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as June 14, according to the retailer.

In Washington state, Redmond, Shoreline, Chehalis and Federal Way are among those to lose their Sears stores this year, along with the Chehalis Kmart. The retailer also has been putting stores, including its Lacey location, up for auction or sale.

Plans already were in the works for the demolition of the Tacoma Mall Sears with the idea it might come back as a smaller format store.

A Sears Holdings spokesman on Thursday would not answer whether that comeback plan was still in works. Sears has a few years left on its Tacoma Mall lease, according to Simon Property Group, the Indiana-based company that owns the mall.

In April, Simon filed a query with the city of Tacoma for a major redevelopment of the Sears site. Documents filed last week indicate it plans to move ahead.

The plans include a movie theater on the northern end of the property, three buildings and a new entrance with a roundabout west of Sears' current building and a building fronting Tacoma Mall Boulevard on the east with space for three tenants.

Simon has not released information on specific tenants.

In an emailed statement in April, the company said it aims to "stay at the forefront of the retail evolution as opportunities present themselves" for the Tacoma property. They include "a free-standing walkable space that will house an exciting mix of new retail and restaurants."

The proposal includes several pocket parks, a more pedestrian-friendly layout, widened 43rd Street on the northern boundary of the property and renovated mall entrances to provide a consistent identity.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell. Kate Martin: kmartin@thenewstribune.com, @KateReports.

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