August 25, 2019
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Maine stores spared in latest round of Sears closings

Photo courtesy of Sears Holdings | Photo courtesy of Sears Holdings
Photo courtesy of Sears Holdings | Photo courtesy of Sears Holdings
The Sears store at Bangor Mall closed in April 2018. The parent company of Sears and Kmart said Wednesday it plans to close 26 more stores nationwide by October, but no Maine locations were on the latest closure list.

Twenty-six Sears and Kmart retail locations nationwide will close by October, but none of those stores are in Maine.

Sears Holdings, based in suburban Chicago, released a list Wednesday of the closure locations. The only one in New England is a Kmart in Palmer, Massachusetts.

In the past several years, the former retail giant has buckled under competition from online retailers. It has made a series of store closures, including a Sears at the Bangor Mall in April 2018 and a Sears Auto Center at that mall in November 2018.

In 2017, Sears Holdings closed a Sears on Whitten Road in Augusta and a Kmart in Bangor.

The company’s store locator still lists two Sears stores and auto centers at the Maine Mall in South Portland and at Cook’s Corner in Brunswick. The two remaining Kmart locations are at the Auburn Mall and Augusta Plaza.

The Kmart in Madawaska, that town’s largest retailer, closed in January 2019. And the Waterville Kmart closed in February 2019.

Sears Holdings has been exploring smaller format stores.

In April it announced plans to buy back all of the Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which were separated into a different company in 2012.

Sears Hometown, which sells home appliances and tools, has Maine stores in Caribou, Fort Kent and Farmington, according to the Sears store locator.

The company posted a note on its website saying that it will “accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats, which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores after the Sears Hometown and Outlet transaction closes.”

Sears Holdings said Sears Auto Centers at any of the 26 stores slated for closure will shut down in late August. Liquidation sales at the stores are expected to begin around Aug. 15, and the stores are to close in October.


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