LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - WKYT has confirmed that the Sears store, one of the original retailers at Fayette Mall, will be closing by the end of the year.
At more than 150,000 square feet, the store is the third largest store at the mall. A store manager tells us more than 100 employees work at that Sears. Only Macy's and Dillard's occupy more space at the mall which ranks as one of its owner's top performing malls.
The store is also in a unique location connecting the two separate wings of the mall. When the store and its auto center close, the mall will essentially be divided into two sections: the first built in 1971 and the second added as part of an expansion two decades later.
"We do not have a confirmed close date," Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings told WKYT. "In the meantime, the store will continue to serve the public."
In 2011, Sears announced the closure of their store in Middlesboro, as well as the closure of their Kmart stores in Winchester and Hazard. For folks in Lexington, the closure has come as a shock.
"It's a good store. I don't know why they'd be closing," said Brandon Clark, who says he often shops at Sears.
"I'm surprised about Sears. They've just been a longtime staple here," said Vicki Craycraft, who shops at Fayette Mall.
"I'm sad because I know what we had here and that's the biggest thing," said Ron Borkowski, who worked at Sears for nearly 35 years, retiring 18 years ago. "It was the center and hub of places of where to shop at."
Revenues decreased $818 million to $8.5 billion for the quarter ended May 4, 2013, as compared to revenues of $9.3 billion for the quarter ended April 28, 2012.
On its website, Sears cites the decrease in revenue was primarily due to the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation, lower comparable store sales and the separation of the Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses which occurred in the third quarter of 2012.
The company buying the space Sears now occupies, CBL & Associates Properties, has not released any information about what businesses they plan on bringing in, but they said they've received a lot of interest from various restaurants and retailers.