Last Sears in NY area shutting down, just 12 stores remain

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By Dan Sears

The last-standing Sears in the New York area is shutting down, bringing the 138-year-old department store’s US footprint down to a measly dozen locations.

At its peak as the world’s biggest retailer in 2011, Sears boasted roughly 4,000 locations worldwide, according to Statista.

By 2014, that figure more than halved, per the data intelligence firm.

Now, the Illinois-based company has just 12 outposts nationwide, plus one in Puerto Rico.

Sears used to have about a dozen locations in New Jersey alone.

But the last of those in Jersey City, just six miles from Times Square, is about to close its doors.

That Sears, at Newport Centre Mall, has recently been displaying “Blowout Event” posters, plus signs that say “Everything must go!” with deep discounts up to 70% as the location plans to close up shop for good, according to a local Patch.com posting.

Sears used to have about a dozen store in New Jersey alone. Now, it only has 12 stores nationwide, with plans to close its final NY-area location in Jersey City in the coming weeks. Sundry Photography – stock.adobe.com

It wasn’t immediately clear when exactly this Sears will shut down.

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Representatives for Sears at Transformco — which purchased 425 Sears and Kmart stores in 2019 — did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Once it goes belly-up, the closest Sears location for New York and New Jersey shoppers will be in Braintree, Mass., more than 225 miles away.

Arcade and sports bar Dave & Buster’s is moving into part of the two-story Sears space at Newport Centre Mall, according to a separate Patch.com report, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Affordable clothing retailer Primark may also occupy part of the building, per Patch.

Sears has been trying to stay afloat since filing for bankruptcy in October 2018.

It emerged from Chapter 11 proceeding four years later after more than 10,000 court filings and slashing its portfolio from almost 700 stores to less than two dozen.

In 2022, the bankruptcy estate’s reorganization plan took effect, signaling an end to Chapter 11 and the start of a liquidation process for its remaining assets.

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Photos from inside the Sears at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City show deep discounts up to 70% as part of the outpost’s “store closing sale.” It wasn’t immediately clear exactly when the location will shut down. Sears Jersey City #1044/Facebook

In its heyday, Sears advertised itself as “Where America Shops” and boasted merchandise lines from supermodel Cheryl Tiegs and “Charlie’s Angel’s” star Jaclyn Smith.

At its peak, Sears — formally known as Sears, Roebuck & Co. — was the world’s largest retailer, with nearly 3,500 Sears and Kmart stores, including 2,350 full-line and off-mall stores and 1,100 specialty retail stores.

Sears also had a portfolio of prominent brands and operating businesses, including Kenmore, DieHard, Craftsman, Sears Home Services, Sears Auto Centers and Innovel.

For reference, retail rival Walmart has just over 3,000 stores at the time: 1,353 discount stores and 1,713 Supercenters.

Sears has been selling its locations since filing for bankruptcy in October 2018. At its peak, the retailer was the largest in the world, with more than 4,000 locations worldwide. REUTERS

Lampert, the former chair of Kmart Holding, bought Sears for $11 billion in March 2005 in a bid to hold off brick-and-mortar competitors such as Walmart and e-commerce competitors such as Amazon.

At the time of the merger, the Sears-Kmart combo, called Transformco, had annual revenues of $55 billion, a fifth of Walmart’s fiscal 2004 total of $256 billion. 

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Amazon had annual revenue of $2.54 billion back in 2005.

Since then, the e-commerce behemoth is the world’s largest online retailer, raking in $554 billion in 2023, a more than 10% year-over-year increase.

Walmart ended 2023 with a staggering $611 billion in total revenues.

Transformco, a privately-held company, does not report its financial results.

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