After 24 years as an anchor at SouthPark Mall in Moline, Sears announced Friday that it is closing the store.

In a brief statement, the national retailer said the store will close in mid-October. The store’s 60 employees, who were notified of the closing Friday morning, may apply for positions at other Sears and Kmart stores.

Sears and Kmart brands are owned by Sears Holdings Co.

A corporate representative said the Sears store at NorthPark Mall in Davenport is not affected.

“The store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Sears said in the statement. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail — at the store, online and in the home.”

Aleshia Chiesa, the marketing manager for SouthPark and NorthPark malls, said the malls' owners “could not speak on behalf of Sears and its business decisions.”

“We are prepared for the changes ahead of us, and we are always focused on how we can enhance SouthPark Mall,” she said in a prepared statement.

The two Quad-City malls are owned by Macerich Corp., which took over full ownership of the properties in December 2011. Macerich had co-owned the properties for nearly a decade in a 50/50 venture with Simon DeBartolo Group.

Sears has operated at SouthPark since 1990 when it relocated to the mall from Moline’s King Plaza shopping center on 23rd Avenue. The 105,700-square-foot SouthPark store was the anchor tenant of a 234,000-square-foot expansion and remodeling project that created the Food Court.

The store will begin a liquidation sale July 26.

The closing is the latest blow to SouthPark's tenant base. The announcement comes on the heels of the May closing of big box store Old Navy.

New Moline Alderman Janet Bender, whose 3rd Ward includes SouthPark Mall, said the city council has had discussions about ways to help the mall attract more customers and businesses.

"The council is discussing what changes could be made to make it better and give it a face-lift and make it more marketable for the area," Bender said.

The mall's future and redevelopment have been the focus of a three-year effort by a task force made up of city, chamber and business representatives.

Tara Barney, the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce's CEO, said while the loss of Sears "can be tough for us, it is part of Sears' business model in the present economy."

"Sears is shrinking all over the country," she said, adding that the task force plans to "manage past the Sears' closing."

She said Sears' departure ''could be part of SouthPark's evolution" and the empty anchor could fit in to future redevelopment plans. The task force has continued to meet regularly with Macerich officials.  

In June, the city of Moline delayed the creation of a tax increment finance district for the mall while state transportation officials study the possibility of a new intersection to access the mall. The Illinois Department of Transportation is studying a proposal to build a new intersection off John Deere Expressway between 16th Street and Interstate 74. Its report is due in August.

"We know it's a very big piece of real estate that is very underutilized right now,'' Barney said of the mall. "We want to make sure we do all we can to get the infrastructure worked out ... so it can have a more prosperous future than it has now."

"As SouthPark is trying to figure out its future, a lot of how it can redevelop is dependent on making 21st-century access to the site," she said.

(19) comments

katara

Sad, We used to manufacture quality things in this country. Now we resale trash from foreign countries. Heaven forbid that a person make a living like we once did. A sad day when Government has to make employers provide benefits to their employees..

Klaatu
Klaatu

Sad day when the government is importing millions of workers when we have millions of people without jobs and set a new record for welfare and food stamps every month. Employers react to business conditions, they are trying to stay in business and make some money. If their investors can't get a decent return they will take it somewhere else. Now this Sears closing isn't part of that. It is just the death of the malls, we could see it coming twenty years ago. If you want to bring back good jobs, tell your Obama to quit running energy costs through the roof and ease off on regulation that makes it impossible for domestic manufacturers to compete. Then we can talk about changing our trade laws.

Asylum
Asylum

He is not "My Obama" he is the President of the Unite States, respect that, which you don't, no matter who is in office, I respect the title, may not agree with them, but I will not disrespect that office, as you and some others do, but that's your choice to be American or Un-American, we all know your choice.

writingmomma

Thank you Asylum! People are so disrespectful in this country anymore. People wonder why our country is in the state that it is in, there are no morals or respect any longer. There is no respect in homes, that is why children are running rampant doing whatever they want to do, from drugs to killing. There is no respect for authority or one another. I rarely see people even let you jump in a lane anymore when you have your signal light on. Shame on you Klaatu! Some things are best kept unsaid. Our country is in big trouble. We have become the laughing stock of the world. To shame the hard work of our veterans this way is disgraceful. They fought to keep our country whole, protected and respected.

Asylum
Asylum

Big companies got greedy, close down factories here, cheaper in China, scr3w the employees on health benefits, nice offshore accounts, no taxes to pay, great high paid accounts to find loopholes to make it happen, honestly I don't get into too much of the political tirade ALOT of posters slide in on near every comment they make, everyplace I've worked , the company matches what I pay into health insurance, been that way for , and every year it increases, insurance companies are the greed, whether, health or automobile or whatever kind. Take a trip to Hartford, CT, insurance Capitol of at least the US, look at the buildings the major (and sure smaller ones are paying high rent in these buildings) insurance companies have, very impressive, a lot of premiums built those, plus I'm sure tax write offs, incentives from the city. Seen the buildings, really impressive, from the outside.

Asylum
Asylum

I remember when I happened to come across a website that forecasted closing of companies (whish I would've save it, one of those business trending websites), it gave the top 10 Major Companies that would close or be bought out....and within a few years predicted major store closings, and maybe falling like Ward's( aka Montgomery Ward), Sears was near the top of the list after buying out K-Mart, one of the reasons was there was too many K-Marts near a Sears store, developing more competition between them, well that forecast is coming true around here. Seems so far the K-mart on Brady & Kimberly , and Sears in Northpark are doing ok.

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

I'm surprised it took this long....Sears at Coral Ridge Mall closed months ago...The sad truth is Sears simply cannot compete when paying huge $$$ in lease agreements against the big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Best Buy when it comes to appliances, tools and electronics and when it comes to clothing, they are about a step below J.C. Penny's when it comes to style and selling what is in demand....J.C. Penny's is next.

mollyheffernen
mollyheffernen

Sears has been struggling at that location business wise for a number of years. I think what that mall could do is put in like a Forever 21, H & M, Nordstrom Rack, Macy's or Shoe Carnival?

Betttaxpayer

Sears,Old Navy, and guesses on who goes next?

Betttaxpayer

"Enhancing SouthPark Mall" by losing an anchor tenant? Might be time for the bulldozers and start from scratch. Of course, even Quinn's tax payer giveaway to Sears couldn't keep them in Illinois. The state's disfunctional government and uncertain business climate will probably claim more stores.

Betttaxpayer

Didn't Sears promise to keep their Illinois stores open after Governor Quinn gave them a bad tax waiver? Hows that working out?

Betttaxpayer

sorry, that was a BIG tax waiver. Guess the governor didn't read the fine print as Sears must have had a loophole to close Illinois stores.

PainfullTruth

Nope. Sears promised not to move their corporate office out of Illinois. They didn't promise to keep any stores open.

How much taxes will Sears in Moline be paying now? How much taxes will the former employees of Sears in Moline be paying now? Doesn't matter how much you promise to reduce their taxes. When you get NO taxes, that is always less than the reduction they were asking for.

Dare I say, Hope & Change?

Betttaxpayer

Higher minimum wage in Illinois, disfunctional state government, crushing state debts which signals higher taxes in the future. If you had to pick which store to close, Northpark or Southpark its a pretty easy choice to close your Illinois store. When a Mall loses a major and iconic anchor like Sears its usually a first sign that the Mall is on borrowed time. Very sad.

mike

Southpark has been on borrowed time for years now. Sears isn't exactly a thriving retail operation these days either. When you have a dying retailer (like Sears) in a past-its-prime mall (like Southpark) the outcome is fairly obvious. A Republican governor wouldn't have made one bit of difference in this equation.

Devin H
Devin H

Eddie Lampert, the "ruler" of Sears is known for cutting companies to the bone, increasing the stock prices, then selling off his stock to make billions and leave the company in the dirt. I've been saying this for nearly five years that he's gonna kill this company, and anyone who has visited a sears can see it. or a k-mart. He's gonna walk away rich, while leaving all the employees holding their ba11s.

Klaatu
Klaatu

That isn't it at all. Sears is a traditional dept store and they are dying off. All of them are in trouble. It is just the way it is. The malls are dying off too, and South Park has been in decline for thirty years. I can picture that monstrous property split into pieces that will yield a lot more than the aggregate that exists now.

senor citizen

Sears has been going downhill for years. The K Mart takeover was like the tail wagging the dog. Both will soon be a memory of another age. In fact they have already been replaced as a first shopping choice in many people's minds. The sale of both will benefit stockholders as they fade slowly into the past. Like GM and Chrysler will do in the next few years. The consumers of the world do not shop with the workers of companies interest at heart. That's hard for some to understand, but understanding is not needed for change to take place.

PainfullTruth

Oh my... Where do you come up with your facts? Let me guess, another member of the "evil rich" you don't like?

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