All That’s Left At The Oldest Remaining Sears Are Fixtures And Khakis

Image courtesy of Richie Diesterheft

The Sears store on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago is winding down operations. That’s a normal part of the retail cycle: when a store is no longer making money, you shut it down. What’s different about this store closure is that the Lawrence location was one of the oldest still-operating Sears department stores, open in that location for 91 years. It survived the Great Depression, but not the era of e-commerce and of Eddie Lampert.

What’s left in the store on Lawrence? A reporter for DNAinfo headed over with a camera to find out, and found that most of what people would actually want to buy at Sears had been stripped from the shelves. Everything in the tool department had either sold off early in the store-closing sale or been shipped off to another Sears, for example.

There were some appliances still around on clearance, but the overwhelming impression that reporter Patty Wetli had was of khakis. So many khakis, she wrote, noticing that “the store is awash in khaki pants of every size and color, still hanging around at 60 percent off. And that pretty much sums up the challenge Sears has faced with consumers for the past 30 years.”

The retailer has not been great at predicting what consumers want, or even hitting remotely close to the mark. They do, however, have plenty of mannequins.

Once the khakis are gone, the company and the city will have to figure out what to do with the Art Deco behemoth. It’s not the only one, either: other similar buildings in Chicago alone have sat empty since a round of closings in 2013. Few tenants need a retail store that size, and fewer still want to take over a windowless former Sears castle.

What’s Left At The Closing Sears Store On Lawrence? Lots And Lots Of Khakis [DNAinfo]

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