Along with McDonald’s, Sears is one of the biggest national brands most associated with the city of Chicago. Many people still refer to the soaring Willis Tower as the Sears Tower, even though the company fled the building for the suburbs nearly 20 years ago and gave up the naming rights in 2009. Now the once-great retailer is set to distance itself further from the Loop with news that it will shutter a flagship store in the city it once called home.
Sears announced yesterday that it will close its five-story location at 2 N. State St, which it opened in opened in 2001 after an 18-year absence in the area. The company had hoped at the time that it could cash in on the growing urban retail market, but in spite of the fact that other brands like Target have been able to make a go in the Loop, shoppers did not support Sears.
“(We) can no longer continue to support the store’s operating losses,” a company rep explains to Crain’s Chicago Business. “The State Street store’s operational performance has been poor through much of its existence.”
Liquidation of the store merchandise will begin on Jan. 26, with 160 employees set to lose their jobs because of the closing. Sears says it will allow these workers to apply for jobs at other Sears and Kmart locations.