The Sears store and automotive center at Alderwood mall is scheduled to shut down at the end of March. (Jim Davis / The Herald Business Journal)

The Sears store and automotive center at Alderwood mall is scheduled to shut down at the end of March. (Jim Davis / The Herald Business Journal)

Sears plans to close its anchor location at Alderwood mall

LYNNWOOD — Sears plans to hold a liquidation sale beginning today as it closes its store and automotive center at the Alderwood mall.

The 178,000-square-foot store, one of the mall’s anchor tenants, is scheduled to shut down by the end of March. The store, at 18600 Alderwood Mall Blvd., had already blocked the escalator to its second story Thursday.

Sears declined to state the number of employees at the store and automotive center. Most of the employees are part-time and hourly. Eligible employees will receive severance and can apply for open positions at area Sears and Kmart stores.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation,” said Howard Riefs, director of communications. “Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around.

“But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success.”

Sears opened at the Alderwood mall in 1980.

Sears Holdings has announced that it would close 42 Sears stores and 108 Kmarts across the country as it attempts to become profitable again. The company also announced that it would sell its well-known Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker.

So far, the closure at Alderwood is the only Sears store planned to be shut down in Washington.

It’s the second major hit to a county mall. Macy’s announced Wednesday that it was shutting down its 133,000-square-foot store at the Everett Mall in the coming weeks. That’s part of a larger plan by Macy’s, the largest department store chain in the U.S., to close nearly 100 stores nationwide.

The Gap at Alderwood also has signs up saying that it’s closing its store at the mall.

Those moves are the latest sign that many retailers are losing ground in the battle to retain shoppers that are increasingly turning to the internet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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