Sears to close in August

Jun 19, 2019

One of the Dartmouth Mall’s only remaining original anchor stores is closing: Sears, but it will not remain vacant for long. 

Last week marked the beginning of the end for the struggling retail chain’s Dartmouth location, as liquidation sale signs blanketed the store and workers held signs alerting shoppers to the blowout sale from Route 6 along the mall.

Inside the store, prices on remaining inventory have been slashed from ten to 40 percent off. Brightly colored signs announced the discounts from shelves that — in popular departments like kitchenwares — housed mostly display items.

Store employees said that the store will likely close by mid-August.

However, the store will not remain empty for long. PREIT, the owners of the Dartmouth Mall, announced on June 19 a Burlington will open in part of the vacated space. The store will occupy 43,000 square feet of the former anchor store, and offer its array of coats, clothing, shoes, and home decor. 

The remaining Sears space will be reconfigured to support seven freestanding dining and retail establishments.

Burlington is expected to open in the spring of 2020.

Sears is the last remaining anchor store original to the Dartmouth Mall’s 1971 opening. Other anchors which have come and gone at the mall include Zayre — later Ames before it went out of business — and Cherry and Webb, which relocated from New Bedford and also only lives on as a memory in the retail landscape.

It has not been a good few years for Sears either. The company filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, and at the time announced a $5.2 billion sale to ESL Investments. The sale was cleared by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and was completed in February 2019.

In January, it was announced 80 Sears and KMart stores would close. The Dartmouth Mall location was not included on the initial list of store closures, and was not publicly announced by the company.

A company spokesperson confirmed to Dartmouth Week the store would indeed close in the fall of 2019 on January 29, following rumors of the store’s closure.

Once closed, the Dartmouth Mall’s two remaining anchor stores will be JCPenny and Macy’s. The Sears Auto building, which is detached from the main mall building and is located in a parking lot close to Faunce Corner Road, will be shuttered as well.

Sears joins a growing list of brick and mortar stores which have been shuttered in town in recent years. In the summer of 2018, Toys ‘R’ Us stores nationwide were shuttered after the company went bankrupt, including the Route 6 Dartmouth location.

Benny’s — a southern New England staple — closed all of its stores, including its Dartmouth Street location — after the family-run business decided it could no longer sustain itself amid the changing retail landscape.