EVERETT — It was one of the first anchor stores at Everett Mall. Now, after a half-century, the city’s Sears will close by the end of the year.
“After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Sears stores in Everett and Aberdeen, Washington,” Larry Costello, public relations director for Sears and Kmart, confirmed in an email Wednesday. “The liquidation sales are expected to begin in mid-September and the stores are planned to close by mid-December. We encourage customers to continue shopping on Sears.com for all their product needs.”
Employees at the Everett Sears location declined to comment.
On Wednesday afternoon, inside the more than 100,000-square-foot store, a handful of shoppers drifted through the well-stocked aisles.
Everett couple Arlie and Julie Mabbott were disappointed to learn that the Everett location would be closing.
“We just bought a fridge here on Monday,” Arlie said. “This is one of the last Sears stores,” said Julie, holding up a Sears shopping bag. “I bought clothes today,” she said.
When the Lynnwood Sears closed two years ago, Lauren Buxton, began making regular trips to the Sears store in Everett.
Wednesday, the Lynnwood resident stopped in on her way home from visiting family in Marysville. “It’s the only Sears store around,” lamented Buxton, who’s been shopping at Sears stores for 40 years. “I’m a dinosaur. I don’t like shopping online,” she said. “I think Sears is going to be over.”
Sears at one time operated hundreds of department stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. The once-venerable retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall. In the past few years, it has closed hundreds of stores. Sears Canada, a subsidiary, closed all its stores in 2017.
Founded in 1893, the Chicago-based retailer sells everything from bathrobes to kitchen appliances. The company stopped distributing its huge, mail order catalogs in 1993.
The Sears store at what became Everett Mall opened in 1969. Everett Mall opened with 60 stores in 1974, with Sears and the Bon Marche as anchor tenants. Another Sears, at Alderwood mall in Lynnwood, closed in 2017.
Transform Holdco, a company that was formed in February to acquire Sears Holdings assets, announced last month it planned to close 26 Sears and Kmart stores around the county, including the Sears in Spokane.
The Everett Mall Sears was not on the list, but customers and employees speculated on several job websites that it would also close.
Transform said in a statement Aug. 6: “Over the past several months, we have worked hard to strengthen our vendor relationships, return our inventory levels to normal, and improve customer satisfaction and operations; however, we have faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity, including differences with Sears Holdings over our purchase agreement and a generally weak retail environment. These challenges have unfortunately affected our performance and limited our strategic choices.”
Transform is owned by ESL Investments a Greenwich, Connecticut-based hedge fund.
Transform would not say how many people currently work at the Everett Mall store and declined to comment further.
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods