Having gutted it out through the holidays, Sears announced Friday that it will close at Mall of America—the last of its high profile shopping center locations.
This week, Sears announced plans to “accelerate its strategic transformation and facilitate its financial restructuring” by closing another 80 stores in March 2019 including a store in Rochester. Mall of America was not on the list, but the closure was announced Friday on CNBC and MOA officials confirmed the report. Liquidation sales will begin in two weeks.
For MOA, which has known Sears days were likely numbered, the closure leaves the mall with just two of its original anchors: Nordstrom and Macy's. Bloomingdale’s was first to go in 2012. Portions of the space have yet to be filled. Recently, the mall's focus has been attracting unique entertainment concepts, like the new movie theaters, CMX Market Cinema Experience, and celebrity-driven concepts including Savage x Fenty by Rhianna and Wahlburggers, rather than large retailers, most of which are no longer in expansion mode. Two dozen new stores opened at MOA in 2018, according to mall management.
"While change can be difficult, we are very excited for the future of our destination, as well as this specific opportunity at this world-class property," the mall said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "Mall of America has been provided with a great chance to transform this premier space in to something that will exceed the expectations of our millions of annual guests."
As for Sears, an independently operated appliance outlet in Coon Rapids will be all that remains of the fallen retail giant in the Twin Cities. The company still has two local Kmart stores.