Sears at Regency Mall to close

2013-10-17T14:00:00Z 2013-12-17T11:29:39Z Sears at Regency Mall to closeMICHAEL BURKE Journal Times

RACINE — Sears, one of Regency Mall’s anchor stores, will close in January along with the Sears Auto Center.

The store will start its liquidation sale Oct. 25, Howard Riefs, Sears Holdings director of corporate communications stated Thursday by email.

The store opened in early 1982, the mall’s second year, but was under construction when the mall opened in 1981, Mall Manager Curt Pruitt said.

Sears and the auto center have a combined 52 employees, Riefs stated. They will have an opportunity to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs stated.

“These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail — at the store, online and in the home.”

Riefs said “a handful” of other stores across the country will be closed about the same time. The only other Wisconsin store announced for closure is the Kmart in Fort Atkinson.

Pruitt called the upcoming closing of the 89,000-square-foot store and auto center an opportunity.

“We’re seeing this decision as an excellent opportunity to elevate the Sears building into an even more productive use,” he said.

“It’s too early to speculate whether another department store will join the mall or it will be redeveloped for other stores or mixed uses,” Pruitt said.

But he said the leasing department of mall owner CBL & Associates is already talking with other potential candidates for the space.

Sears owns the space, and Pruitt said CBL and the mall will work closely with Sears for whatever transition occurs.

Sears Holdings, which owns both Sears and Kmart stores, lost $930 million in 2012 and $3.1 billion the year before, and the losses have continued.

In August, its latest earnings report, Sears Holdings reported a $194 million net loss in its fiscal second quarter compared with $132 million one year earlier.

Sears Holdings closed 46 full-line Sears stores and 84 Kmart stores in the United States between February 2012 and February 2013.

As of February, there were 15 Sears and 28 Kmart stores in Wisconsin, according to Riefs. He did not have the number of those that have since closed or been slated for closure.

Copyright 2016 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(29) Comments

  1. harrystugats
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    harrystugats - October 24, 2013 9:44 pm
    Loved that store. Sad to see it go, I hope the employees find work. Things will not improve under this President. Business got scared and tightened up when Obama took office because they knew he was coming after their money. What is happening around this country is absolutely horrifying.
  2. drewsue
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    drewsue - October 24, 2013 1:24 am
    I personally feel a lot of the stores are closing down due to the fact that many more people are shopping online these days..I am not saying that everyone is shopping online..but think about it..I know I have stopped going to the brick and mortar stores..I do all of my shopping right from home..

    The companies can still profit from sales online and they do not have the overhead of keeping the brick and mortar store open..

    Its just a sign of the times..

    I never like the Sears store here BTW..too small and cluttered..I do enjoy their online store tho..LOL

    What to do with that space..not sure..but someone will come up with something..
  3. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - October 21, 2013 9:48 am
    Yeah, has nothing to do with people losing their purchasing power right?? Has nothing to do with the fact that the middle class is declining?? Give me a break.
  4. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - October 21, 2013 9:46 am
    Yeah right. Racine basically gave away 12 million to Cree Lighting. Give me a break. Businesses pay less than individuals in many cases. Do some research.
  5. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - October 21, 2013 9:44 am
    I'm sure you are ok with Walker giving away millions though.
  6. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - October 21, 2013 9:44 am
    No... the new casino?? Not enough space by far. lol
  7. MrWisco
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    MrWisco - October 21, 2013 4:19 am
    In 1990 some thugs tried to pick an unprovoked fight with me and a friend at the mall. 10 years later my wife and I tried to do some Christmas shopping and there was some kind of gang riot at one of the indoor gathering areas for the bus stop. Doesn't take much to figure out why I never go there. They ought to shut the whole mall down and rent it to the FBI for anti terrorist training. Sayonara Regency Mall.
  8. who me
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    who me - October 19, 2013 12:08 am
    done=down.....Boston Store has gone "down" I meant.
  9. who me
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    who me - October 19, 2013 12:08 am
    “We’re seeing this decision as an excellent opportunity to elevate the Sears building into an even more productive use,” he said....................REALLY?!?!?! Wow, what a way to "spin" this hey? It's really too bad our mall has gotten so bad, I wish it were better. It's a total pit. Well maybe not total, but almost. Even Boston Store has really gone done. Worked there during the remodel, it was so beautiful. It's falling apart. They even had to close the service desk.....sad.
  10. who me
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    who me - October 19, 2013 12:05 am
    tru dat! Can't you just see it now?!?
  11. Green Racinereal
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    Green Racinereal - October 18, 2013 5:48 pm
    Think Delta Hawk Team Porter's our Unemployment rate lack of companies coming to Racine but to other cities, no this all must be the Bloggers fault Thank God John Dicket is going France as he takes down Street Lights, Thank God his pals make bank from the city, after all is that not what is job is to loot the city and give his pals money?
  12. rlse9
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    rlse9 - October 18, 2013 3:40 pm
    It amazes me how the comments on this site for every story turn into blaming the city officials. Sears closing isn't because of anything they've done, it's because Sears is a very poorly run company that's probably going to disappear completely in the not-to-distant future. Had any of you been in there recently? The store has been half empty for months with sections blocked off. The mall probably will be better off with whatever they fill the space left, as long as the space isn't left empty.

    JC Penney may be next, their flip flopping of strategy has put them in a bad financial position.
  13. JT fact checker
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    JT fact checker - October 18, 2013 2:09 pm
    You forgot the walkers.
  14. Joeboy5471
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    Joeboy5471 - October 18, 2013 1:49 pm
    J C Penney will be next. They did not keep pace with the likes of Target and Kohl's.
  15. racinetoday
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    racinetoday - October 18, 2013 11:57 am
    No loss in property taxes unless CBL bull dozes the place (which they probably will eventually). I suggest that they talk to the Mayor, County Exec, and the Menominee as this could be the new Casino that provides the jobs and prosperity we so need!!
  16. lisa B
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    lisa B - October 18, 2013 10:53 am
    Curt Pruitt is only in charge of housekeeping and security, the journal times need to contact cbl directly to find out more about sears property
  17. Green Racinereal
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    Green Racinereal - October 18, 2013 9:37 am
    Hey maybe Sears could reopen at Porters? Nothing going on in that space that I have seen and like so many in Downtown do not pay any property taxes!
    Best yet the County Executive seams not to care if he did I think he do something but he can upset Mayor John Dickert the man who may be running the county.
  18. heloman30
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    heloman30 - October 18, 2013 8:56 am
    I think we should look at this as an opportunity...we could build the biggest payday loan or dollar store the world has ever seen!
  19. Jeff Warg
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    Jeff Warg - October 17, 2013 8:04 pm
    Maybe now city leaders will realize that they are chasing away businesses due to the high taxes and overassessments at Regency Mall before another major store decides that they have had enough and pull out as well.
  20. Crazyoldman
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    Crazyoldman - October 17, 2013 6:56 pm
    All thumbs- I'm sure you can use your god given brain to figure it out
  21. Unreal Racine
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    Unreal Racine - October 17, 2013 6:38 pm
    Another day, another business in Racine closing shop.

    The over-assessments are definitely contributing to more businesses closing up shop. They will either have to pay an unfair property tax assessment with ever-increasing fees, or fight a legal battle with the city each year to prove the over-assessment just like Sears did recently here in Racine.

    The cost of doing business in Racine is becoming more prohibitive, and our city officials only care about padding their own pockets until it falls further apart. There is no plan for recovery, and zero accountability from Racine's local officials. The result is more jobs lost in the city with the highest unemployment in the state already.
  22. ordmm
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    ordmm - October 17, 2013 6:34 pm
    Maybe Racine will take it over as some kind of community center. They could consolidate all the non-profits they support under one roof. You could feed and house the needy, it's certainly big enough for that. Could even grow community gardens. Would not cost much I'm sure.
  23. layedback
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    layedback - October 17, 2013 4:43 pm
    The mall is Ghetto
  24. PrimeTime69
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    PrimeTime69 - October 17, 2013 3:57 pm
    53 more unemployed and another major tax base gone from the city. What does city hall have to say........nothing. Once again, act like no problems exist, and just ignore the concerns of residents and taxpayers and this is what you get. Remember, the City Of Racine has wrongly assessed the value of the Sears property and was fighting Sears in court, Way to go Racine officials.
  25. Crazyoldman
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    Crazyoldman - October 17, 2013 3:56 pm
    All the mall is is kiosks, bad food, and coin games.
  26. Crazyoldman
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    Crazyoldman - October 17, 2013 3:54 pm
    Another victim of Walnart.
  27. the voice of reason
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    the voice of reason - October 17, 2013 2:59 pm
    Between RM's decline (which actually started years ago) and Sears' continued operating losses, unfortunately this was inevitable.
    Best wishes to those whose jobs will be affected by this.
  28. Green Racinereal
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    Green Racinereal - October 17, 2013 2:46 pm
    More taxes lost for Racine or they could have moved downtown where more then one is not paying property taxes must be o.k. or the County Executive would do something about it.
  29. Mr262
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    Mr262 - October 17, 2013 2:43 pm
    This marks the beginning of the end of Regency Mall
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