The Sears store at Springfield’s Gateway Mall is closing this spring. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
Altogether, nearly 40 Sears stores will close in April or May across the U.S. It’s part of a larger action taken by Sears Holdings, its corporate office in Illinois.
Robert Killen is with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He says the news came as a bit of a shock for him and others. He says more than a century ago though, Sears – with its mail-order catalog – revolutionized and disrupted retail.
“Now retail’s been disrupted again by the internet," Killen tells KLCC. "And an entirely new way of shopping and that makes it hard for organizations with these really enormous brick and mortar stores, that have to exist to house large quantities of product.
"And we’re seeing that not just with Sears, but throughout the entire retail ecosystem.”
As to the Sears employees who will soon be out of work, Killen says there’s never a good time to be out of a job. But he says Oregon’s unemployment rate – most recently at 4.3 percent – will hopefully provide a favorable job market.
Killen adds the Chamber will soon meet to discuss new opportunities in the space Sears will vacate in a few months.
Copyright 2017, KLCC.