Sears closing last remaining location in Illinois

Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi breaks down his thoughts on Sears, as the company prepares to close its final store.

Video Transcript

- Sayonara to Sears. There is apparently one more store left. It's in Illinois, its home state. But it's closing. Brian Sozzi, you have the details on this.

BRIAN SOZZI: Every time Julie, I think I'm done covering Sears, I've closed that chapter in my life, they just suck me back in. I can't take it. Well, look, so this is the final black eye here for Sears. They're closing their last Sears store right in their own backyard, over in Illinois. That store is going to close in Woodfield Mall, Illinois.

A Sears spokesman sent me an email this morning confirming that the store is in fact, closing. The last date this store will be open-- it will actually close, I'm sorry, on November 14 of this year. And Sears, let's take a look at the store. It really gives a nice look at how far retail has changed since the store opened in 1969. This was the first store at Woodfield Mall, the first anchor store inside of a Woodfield mall. Anchor store essentially just means it's a large store at the end of the mall, hence, it anchors the mall.

As I mentioned, the store opened in 1969. It is a huge, huge store. 366,272 square feet. That is a lot of square footage for retail. I mean, a typical Target store might be 110,000 square feet. So there you have Sears just operating this gargantuan store when nobody's going there to begin with.

Now, the company has been trying to sell the entire 30.4 acre lot, really for some time. It is listed online for sale. You can actually contact the agent that has been shopping this site. You can reach out to them if you want to buy this large site and go redevelop it for whatever you want. Now, Sears told me that there go forward strategy for the company-- let's keep in mind, Julie, this company is no longer called Sears. It's called Transform Co. Their go forward strategy for Sears and Kmart is to operate a diversified portfolio consisting of a small number of larger premier stores with a larger number of small format stores.

Essentially, look, they're going to go away. There will eventually be no more Sears and Kmart stores. You will just see empty boxes across the country and those sites will be redeveloped into dollar stores, Amazon fulfillment centers, Dick's Sporting Goods, movie theaters. Who knows? You name it, that's what will be in these sites over time. And it's sad. It is really-- it's sad to see this continue to play out for a company that was really just an icon in the retail space.

So here's my take overall. There is no more Sears and Kmart. You go on the site, looks to be that they only have 34-- 35 more Sears locations open in the country. The last Kmart in New York City was right next to our office in New York City. They announced early this year that will close and Wegmans will eventually open.

I think it's good to see the closures. Let the properties be reborn. Let's get some movie theaters back in there post-pandemic. Let's get some more Dick's Sporting Goods. I need more places to buy Nike sneakers. So good to see these properties redeveloped into something else that actually generates money and cash to the property developers. Also too, these last remaining Sears closures when they happen, as they are happening now, good for Macy's. I think Macy's will be a big beneficiary of this.

And then last but not least, this is again tough story for me to follow over the past decade because this is where I used to get my childhood photos. That is me.

- Oh, my gosh.

BRIAN SOZZI: And a lot more hair, maybe a $5 white vest holding my brother, Gary, whose birthday is tomorrow on September 18. Happy birthday, Gary. Good to see us in that photo right there. Really sitting in front of very frigid conditions. Weirdly wintry conditions, probably out there in Colorado when it was really in Long Island, New York. So happy birthday to my brother, Gary. You deserve it, man. I know you're watching.

- Wow. Happy birthday Gary. I think I might have had some pictures taken at Sears too. However, I'm shedding no tears for Sears. No tears for Sears, oh, I like that.

BRIAN SOZZI: It's good.

- That's capitalism, baby. He can't you can't keep up, you go the way of the buffalo. The other thing I would note is in the statement they sent you, they talked about unlocking the real estate value. And let me tell you, if the two of us had a shot every time we saw the phrase, "unlocking real estate value" with regards to this company, we would be alcoholics by now because that was the Eddie Lampert thesis for this company. I'm sure it made him a lot of money. I don't know how many other people it did that for though, Sozz.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hey, did you like my Keds in that photo? Those were Keds.

- Oh, I didn't see the shoes, actually. I was too busy-- I was very focused on the vest.

BRIAN SOZZI: Keds from Tom McCann. Tom McCann, right there. Probably can't even see them in this photo.

- I think we cut it. It cut off.

BRIAN SOZZI: I assure you, I was wearing Keds.

- You got to post the whole photo on Twitter. I think that's the only solution.

BRIAN SOZZI: I still look great. I still look great.

- Yeah, you're preaching to the choir, baby. All right, let's take a break.

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