Thursday, August 23, 2018

[UPDATE] Sears Announced 46 More Store Closures, Including Cumberland Mall

Struggling retailer Sears Holdings announced plans late Wednesday to close an additional 46 "unprofitable stores" across the country, as it works to remain a going concern in a retail world far different than when it made its debut about 130 years ago.   The stores will close "as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline Sears Holdings’ operations, strengthen our capital position and focus on our best stores," according to a statement released by the company.  Sears Holdings, which includes the Sears and Kmart stores, has already, or is in the process of closing about about two hundred stores this year, and the latest round, like others before it, includes a number of stores in Georgia.

The stores, which the company indicates will close in phases, are slated to begin to close in late August, continuing though late November.  In Georgia, the Sears at Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah is slated to close by the end of August, while stores in Cumberland Mall in metro Atlanta and in Glynn Mall in Brunswick are slated to close by the end of October.

As ToNeTo Atlanta reported previously, the Sears stores at Cumberland Mall and at Oglethorpe Mall were owned by the retailer, but were previously spun off into a separate publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) called Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE:SRG).

Cumberland Mall owner GGP has partnered with Seritage on redeveloping the Sears "box" at the metro Atlanta mall.  The two companies previously had a 50% joint venture (JV) partnership on twelve malls, of which eight were sold to GGP last year.  At the same time, the two companies formed a separate JV partnership that included a total of five Sears stores including those at Cumberland Mall and Coastland Center Mall in Naples.  The Naples store was also included in Wednesday's announcement and is slated to close by late August.

The closure of Sears at Cumberland Mall would leave mall without any of its original four anchors that included it, along with Davison's, Rich's and J.C. Penney.  The Davison's space was previously redeveloped into assorted restaurants while the J.C. Penney was demolished and rebuilt as a Costco.  The former Rich's today operates as Macy's.  

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday on plans that Brookfield Property Partners, who closed on their purchase of GGP last month, has for the GGP portfolio.  The firm reportedly plans to expand GGP’s top-tier shopping centers with additional stores, while scaling back or reconfiguring less successful malls by adding housing, office space or hotels.  Cumberland Mall is likely somewhere in the middle of the pack, as it is by no means a "top-tier," mall but is also not quite a "dead mall."  

ToNeTo Atlanta reported previously that Kroger was in talks lease the upper floor of the current Sears Cumberland store but those negotiations fell apart over two years ago.  More recently, sources indicate that GGP has engaged Dick's Sporting Goods in discussions for taking some of the Sears space.  Dick's previously won the bankruptcy auction to take over the former Sports Authority space at Akers Mill Square, but subsequently scrapped plans to open in the center.  

The Sears at Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah is actively being marketed by Atlanta based The Shopping Center Group as a "redevelopment opportunity."  A "conceptual site plan" for the store in Savannah shows the Sears property being cleared and  redeveloped into a mix of freestanding anchor and junior anchor sized spaces along with small shop space and pad sites likely intended for restaurants.

GGP, which also owns North Point Mall in Alpharetta, recently submitted redevelopment plans to the city that include replacing the Sears store that closed in July with a new project that would rise in its place on about 14 acres.  Current plans include 328 apartments and almost 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project will also create a new entrance to the mall with a community gathering space and a 2.5 acre plaza with "Spanish steps."  A new multi-use trail system for pedestrians and bicyclists would be built along the road that encircles the mall. 

The Sears at Northlake Mall which was included in the May list of store closures, is actively liquidating.  The store's "box" and adjacent property was purchased late last fall by ATR Cornith Partners, who in 2016 purchased the mall itself.  The firm plans to redevelop/renovate the mall, but its specific plans and timeline have not yet been made public.  

Following the three closures in Georgia, Sears will have no stores inside the perimeter (ITP).   The company will continue to operate just five full-service Sears stores in Georgia, including those in Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw, Arbor Place in Douglasville, Augusta Mall in Augusta, Georgia Square Mall in Athens, and Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville.

After multiple rounds of store closures, some of which occurred years ago, kmart, which like Sears was once a dominant retailer, operates just two locations in Georgia, one in Covington and the other in Peachtree City.  In metro Atlanta, a portion of the current Lindbergh Plaza shopping center was once home to a kmart (with an escalator!), as was the property off Clairmont Road where Sam's Club currently operates. 

ToNeTo Atlanta previously reported that Akers Mill Square, located catty corner from Cumberland Mall, is also getting new tenants, some of which will occupy space first built as a kmart. 

At the conclusion of the latest round of store closures, Sears Holdings will operate fewer than 500 Sears and a little more than 300 kmart stores.  

What would you like to see open in the soon-to-close Sears at Cumberland Mall?  What was the last thing you purchased at Sears?  Of all department stores, at which one do you consistently have the best experience?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

Cumberland mall is approaching ghetto status...everything will close there or will need metal bars in window glass, and anti-flash-mob technologies.

Anonymous said...

I was in that Sears a week ago Friday at noon and there was one other customer in the store besides myself; both floors. I saw three employees the whole time. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been in a Sears in years except to make Lands End returns. I was returning at the Cumberland Sears a couple of weeks ago and it was just pathetic - I can get better quality, cheaper prices and similar variety from Target! I guess I'll have to make my Lands End returns via mail from now on!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with anonymous 12:05. I was in Cumberland Mall a couple of weeks ago for the first time in a couple of years and was surprised by its now Ghetto Status. How sad. RIP Cumberland Mall.

Cobb has been getting Ghettofied for the past several years now.

Anonymous said...

I think the 2 of you mis-typed. You typed g-h-e-t-t-o. I think you meant b-l-a-c-k. Say what you mean. If you're going to be racist, just be racist. While I am by no means a regular shopper at that mall, I go to Costco regularly and go to the restaurants at least monthly. I've shopped at the Apple store and purchased items and did not get mugged. I've shopped at Macy's and did not get mugged. Do black people shop there? Yes. Do they shop at Lenox, Perimeter, and *gasp* Phipps? Yes. Why? Because black people are allowed to go shopping. And are some of them young? Yes. Does that make the mall ghetto? Well, yes if you're a racist...

Anonymous said...

Wow hadn’t been in quite some time. What makes it ghetto?

Anonymous said...

August 23, 2018 at 5:33 PM ... is that you Hillary? The correct word is urban and the shooting was near the mall ... 2018.

"Police arrest two in Monday shooting near Cumberland Mall"

"Smyrna police have arrested two men in connection with a May 8 fatal shooting at Carrabba’s Italian Grill near Cumberland Mall, according to a news release."

Glad you made it home with your 28 taco value pack and hot dog combo from Costco.

Decatur resident, Damien Scott, 22, and Jonesboro resident Vincent Diandrez Brooks, 22, are both being charged with murder and aggravated assault, according to police."

Anonymous said...

It’s sad that you’re so blind to see how racist you are @ 12:05. Why would you make a comment like that when this post has nothing to do with how “ghetto” a place is? This area is definitely far from that as many company headquarters, Suntrust Park, new residences have all moved in the area with more to come. So just state the obvious and say that you don’t like it because there has been an increase in the amount of black people shopping at Cumberland.

Anonymous said...

Why when someone makes a comment like a place being ghetto, does someone have to throw the racist remark. What makes a place ghetto? When many of the patrons dont shop, but walk around instead and gather in groups. Wearing baggy pants and no respect of others. Do these members happen to be black, yes, but it does not make a person a racist to point this out. There are plenty of African Americans that respect each other, speak well, and dont wear their clothing falling all over their bodies. When will we stop using the racist rant to hide behind.

Anonymous said...

You naive people that are quick to start calling anyone that states realistic observations and correlations, racists.....are foolish. And until you face the facts and get proactive...this obvious decline will continue. Think back on how things were 2-3 decades ago in these north-Atlanta mall areas...what is different now? No, and the answer is not Amazon.

Anonymous said...

So if the roles were reversed and it were just caucasians that we’re walking around with no respect and not shopping would it be ghetto then? And 11:56 how stupid are you to call someone foolish for pointing out racism. You’re exactly a part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

This blog attracts plenty of racists. Great work Tonetoatl.

Black people make y'all uncomfortable. Just admit it and continue living in your white bubbles.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:42 AM We would call them white (trailer) trash. For example, the majority of shoppers at Walmart consist of both ghetto trash and trailer trash. That's not racist, it's just a fact. Sorry but most of the malls around Atlanta are not suffering because of trailer trash, it's the ghetto variety.

Racist is a word that a lost meaning because people like you use it ad nauseam. Words are not suppose to hurt, and stone statues don't come to life and hurt you either. Keep up the good fight!

Anonymous said...

"Black people make y'all uncomfortable. Just admit it and continue living in your white bubbles."

Was this man living in a white bubble? ............

Fadil Delkic, 49, was killed on Sunday after he, 27-year-old Grayson resident Troy Hunte and Hunte’s fiancée got into a verbal argument shortly before 6 p.m., according to Snellville Police Department

“The verbal argument turned physical when Mr. Hunte’s fiancée struck Mr. Delkic in the face,” Manley said. “Shortly thereafter, Hunte pulled a handgun from his pocket and shot Delkic one time in the chest.”

Anonymous said...

Does this include the Sears Auto Center? That seems tp be alive and well. I love the honest service received there.

Anonymous said...

Does this include the Sears Auto Center?

Anonymous said...

Commenter August 24, 2018 at 9:21 AM says ... Black people make y'all uncomfortable.
Just admit it and continue living in your white bubbles.

This is what happens to (white) people when they leave their bubbles. Want to know why white people are uncomfortable around black people?

Quite frankly who want s to go shopping these days if you can be killed for no reason other that "disrespecting" some lowest common denominator in society!

Anonymous said...

@10:13 so I guess ghetto = black and trailer = white? Aren't trailers ghetto too? That's the way I see them. I'm sure there are poor black residents living in trailer parks alongside with there poor white counterparts, so wouldn't they be "trailer trash" too? Just asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:02 so just asking for a friend means YOU. YOU = Ghetto and/or Trailer Trash.
Ghetto and/or Trailer Trash = Democrat voters. Any other questions to further your education?

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