Sears at Regency Square Mall and two area Kmart stores closing

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 12:00 p.m. April 22, 2016
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
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Sears Holdings said Thursday it will close its Sears store at Regency Square Mall and two of its remaining three Kmart stores in the Jacksonville market as part of a plan to close unprofitable stores.

The company is closing 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores in late July. It will begin a liquidation sale at the Sears stores April 29 and at the Kmart stores in Neptune Beach and San Jose Boulevard on May 12.

The closings will leave the company with one Kmart store in Jacksonville at 1501 Normandy Village Parkway.

The company still has Sears stores at The Avenues mall on Jacksonville’s Southside and at the Orange Park Mall. It has additional stores in St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” CEO Edward Lampert said in a news release.

“We’re focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation,” he said.

Sears owns its building at Regency Square Mall, a 49-year-old Arlington center that has lost many tenants. The mall’s remaining anchors are JCPenney and a Dillard’s clearance center. Dillard’s owns its building.

A New York investment group bought the mall in February 2014, consolidated the retail stores into the east side of the mall and is finding other uses for the rest of the 1.4 million-square-foot center.

Sears built its two-story, 196,000-square-foot store in 1981 at the west end of the mall, which is at 9501 Arlington Expressway.

Over the past several months, Sears moved its second-floor inventory to the first floor and closed off interior access to Regency Square.

A Sears media contact did not return a call Thursday evening about what the company intends to do with the building.

The San Jose Kmart site already has a new owner. Jacksonville-based Ash Properties, through Atlantic Mini-Storage of America Inc., bought the store from Kmart Corp. in December and leased it back to Kmart.

The almost 85,000-square-foot Neptune Beach Kmart building at Neptune Beach Plaza was developed in 1970, property records show. It is owned by a New York-based investor.

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