Sears closes Chicago flagship store as it moves to online retail
Nam Y. Huh/APCustomers ride escalators inside the Sears store in downtown Chicago.
By Phil Wahba

NEW YORK -- Sears Holdings (SHLD) is closing its downtown Chicago flagship outlet in April, the latest move by the retailer to cut the number of its stores as it relies more on online retailing.

The store has lost "millions of dollars" since opening in 2001, a Sears spokesman said Tuesday. The closing will leave Sears' namesake chain without a store in the downtown core of its hometown. Sears is based in suburban Hoffman Estates, Ill. It has three other stores in Chicago.

In a blog post Tuesday, hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who is Sears' CEO and top shareholder, said store closings are necessary because shoppers' habits are changing as they buy more online.

"The consensus about decreased store traffic also highlights another decision that has steered our work:
we very often need less space to serve our members better and we may need fewer locations as well," Lampert said.

"As difficult as these changes are, we believe the alternative of failing to plan for or even see where the retail industry is heading would be far, far worse."

Sears reported a 9.2 percent decline in comparable sales for the holiday season at its namesake chain, the latest poor showing by the retailer. The company also operates the Kmart discount chain.

Sears Holdings has closed about 300 U.S. stores since 2010. The company has about 2,000 Sears and Kmart locations in the United States.

Other retailers are also closing stores. J.C. Penney (JCP) announced last week that it was closing 33 of its 1,100 stores. Macy's (M) is closing five stores, although it plans to open eight new locations.

The news of the Chicago store closing was first reported by Crain's.

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I left sears when they raised my credit percentage to 28%. I had never been late with a bull

January 23 2014 at 8:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jking90404's comment

The word should be bill

January 23 2014 at 8:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With the economy still on the rebound price is what people look at first. They will go to whoever sells what they are looking for the cheapest. This whole thing is part of the master plan to lower the American standard of living down to match the rest of the world.

January 22 2014 at 10:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's going to be gut-wretching seeing two iconic, at one-time beloved, "old American" brick and mortar retail institutions close down shop at the same time, after almost 230 years of combined service to the public.
In JCP's case, one man will have been responsible for their demise. As far as "Sears Holdings" (any time you hear the term "holdings", be wary!), many years of small mis-steps have simply added-up to total catastrophic failure. Ironically, the everyday low-price debacle was tried by Sears about 20 years ago, and JCP didn't learn from that failed "mid-range" retail experiment.
Thank God that Macy's has adjusted very well to the new American retail market with beautiful, new, clean, well-stocked stores, and a robust, competitivet online program. At least the institution of Macy's should be around for many years to come.

January 22 2014 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jpark377's comment

"Gut-wrenching" because JC Penney and Sears close? Really? Gut-wrenching? They're department stores, not hospitals for children with cancer.

January 23 2014 at 4:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sear's has been an institution, but has failed to see market trends. On line shopping not only affords consumers the opportunity to purchase from home and avoiding the crowded malls, but is an upward trend. Retailers need to react. Sear's will be gone by the end of 2014.

January 22 2014 at 9:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Don't deal with Poor performance, little help. Shop elsewhere!

January 22 2014 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to a214943's comment

You got that right. The last few times I shopped at Sears was just rediculous. The attitude and service was lousy. Have not been at Sears not for more than 10 years.

January 23 2014 at 6:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I always bought at Sears, they stood behind their products and hired veterns but now, last year all of their Craftsman tools are being made in China. They laid off 1,000s of workers at those tool plants. Now they are trying to be another Walmart to increase their sales of Chineese products. Shame on them and the American buyers, they said they had to to compete with the other discount stores. Does anyone know where there are good American made tools being retailed?

January 22 2014 at 7:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to lawrobnel's comment

I stopped buying at Sears when they charged me for a stand up deep freezer I never received. Took a year to finally get it off my credit report. It was a total nightmare, nobody, nobody would srand up and say, oppps we made a mistake. I think they finally found out their delivery warehouse manager was stealing from them.

January 22 2014 at 6:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Sears had Thomas Wilson for a CEO....his leadership devastated Sears. He is now CEO of Allstate. Recently he took away a retiree lifelong benefit from 1000's of Allstate retirees . I am one. We had 100,000 in life insurance as a retirment benefit, after working for Allstate for 35 years Mr. Wilson, who earned 17 million as CEO last year took away our benefit to raise his stock price up $1.73 cents. Imagine a fluctuating stock price? Our families no longer getting the $100,000 that other families have already collected. I don't know how this guy can look in the mirror.

January 22 2014 at 6:35 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Flagship skuttled by their own hand

January 22 2014 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

We stopped buying at Sears a long time ago. Their prices are way too high, especially when you can get the same brands for less at other stores. We used to go into K-Mart for some cheap items, but even before Sears and K-Mart basically became one, they started carrying some overpriced junk (Martha Stewart items come to mind first for me).

January 22 2014 at 6:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply