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One Rock Hill retailer is safe, but another to close within months after bankruptcy filing

Can retail be rescued? Why so many U.S. stores are closing

Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.
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Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.

One long-time Rock Hill retailer will close “near” the end of this year, while another will remain open for now.

Sears Holdings announced Monday, as part of a bankruptcy protection filing, that it will close 142 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores “near the end of the year.” Liquidation at those sites will “begin shortly,” according to a company statement.

One of those stores that the company said will close is the Kmart on Cherry Road.

Four days before the announcement, the Herald reported that Madison Capital out of Charlotte bought the 90,000-square-foot Kmart Plaza in Rock Hill for $6 million.

Madison Capital invests primarily in self-storage and apartment development. Initial plans for the 10-acre site include storage and outparcel spaces.

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The Sears store at the Rock Hill Galleria mall is not on the company’s closing list. In fact, none of the 77 Sears stores on the list are in South Carolina.

The Rock Hill location could benefit from loyal Sears customers, because the Carolina Place store in nearby Pineville is one of the three Sears stores set to close in North Carolina.

The nearest Sears stores to Rock Hill will be, after the closings that have been announced, an outlet in Charlotte and a showroom in Huntersville, N.C.

Earlier this year, Sears Holdings announced that 46 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores would close by November. Liquidation began in August. Only one of those stores, a Raleigh, N.C. Sears, is in the Carolinas.

In Monday’s announcement of the coming closings, Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert spoke of needed actions “to become a profitable and more competitive retailer.”

“Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets,” he said. “While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired.”

He added the stores on the recent list of coming closures won’t shut down immediately.

“As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business, and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers,” Lampert said. “We thank our vendors for their continuing support through the upcoming season and beyond. We also thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to providing millions of Americans with value and convenience.”

John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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