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Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 9, 201904:30 PM EST

Sears at The Avenues to close by mid-December

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Three other stores remain open in Northeast Florida.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

Transform Holdco LLC, parent company of Sears and Kmart, will close its Sears store at The Avenues mall by mid-December, spokesman Larry Costello said Monday.  

“After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Sears store in Jacksonville, Florida,” Costello said. 

Liquidation sales are expected to start in mid-September.

Sears is an original tenant at The Avenues, which opened in 1990. 

In early August, Transform Holdco announced it would close 26 stores nationwide, 21 of which were Sears stores. The other five were Kmart locations.

The Avenues store is part of a new round of closures.

The two-story Avenues Sears store is about 117,000 square feet with an almost 6,800-square-foot auto service center.

Costello said Sears would not release a full list of the latest closures.  USA Today reported almost 100 stores are in this round.

A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice about layoffs was not filed with the state as of late afternoon Monday.

In Northeast Florida, Sears also operates a department store at the Orange Park Mall in Clay County; a Sears Appliance Outlet is open on San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin; and in St. Augustine, a Sears Hometown Store, which is a locally owned and operated version of Sears.

In the August statement announcing the 26 closures, Transform Holdco said “our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”

Also in the statement, Transform Holdco said it would focus on expanding its smaller store formats, which would include opening more Home & Life Stores and adding “several hundred” Sears Hometown stores.

Sears is an original tenant at The Avenues, which opened in 1990.

The two-story Avenues Sears store is 125,330-square-foot store with an auto service center, according to property records. That is about 11% of the 1.11 million-square-feet mall.

Simon Property Group holds a 25% ownership in The Avenues mall and reported that as of Dec. 31, the shopping center was 96.9% leased. Simon has not responded to an email for comment about the space leased by Sears.

Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 15. Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert won a bid to buy the Sears Holding Corp. assets, including the two properties it owned in Northeast Florida. Lampert owns Transform Holdco. 

He bought the Orange Park Mall store and the closed Regency Square Mall location. The Regency store has been listed for sale.

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