NC Mall Wants To Evict Sears For Low Sales, Lack Of Effort

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Sears had a deal with the Holly Hill Mall in Burlington, NC that isn’t unusual: the retailer gave the mall a small percentage of its sales instead of paying a fixed rent. That amount has evidently fallen over the years as the popularity and business prospects of Sears fell, and now the mall has sued Sears for failing to keep up its end of the lease.

The Times-News reports that Sears has been part of that mall for about 40 years, and it last signed a new lease in 2013. That lease spelled out that the retailer had to pay 2% of its net sales, and provide the mall with monthly sales reports.

According to a lawsuit that the mall filed, Sears failed to file those reports for some of the months between either 2010 or 2014 and this year. According to the mall, the department store chain also hasn’t been promoting its business enough to justify a net-sales lease agreement.

The mall seeks a $25,000 settlement, and to kick Sears out so it can rent that 65,000 square feet to another tenant.

Meanwhile, the Times-News reports, business is just great at the Kmart down the street, since the store announced its going out of business sale. The parent company of both Sears and Kmart, Sears Holdings, owns that building, but a company spokesman wouldn’t say whether the company plans to just move the Sears store to the former Kmart once it closes.

It’s pretty unlikely, though: renting or selling the building would probably make the company more money than moving the Sears. The existence of the lawsuit shows that the store probably isn’t a high-performing location to begin with.

UPDATE, Oct. 3: A Sears spokesman sent us a statement on the lawsuit and the situation. Here it is:

“The lawsuit is without merit, Sears has paid all rent owed and otherwise complied with its lease obligations. Sears has no intention of leaving the store.”

As Kmart closes, Sears faces eviction [Times-News]