Even as Sears chairman Eddie Lampert is trying to salvage what’s left of the iconic retailer, the Sears store at Virginia Center Commons mall in northern Henrico County is counting down its last days.
A big poster on the store’s entry doors on Thursday advised customers of the store’s “Last 4 Days.” The store is scheduled to close Sunday.
Inside was in disarray, with some of the remaining merchandise scattered around in places and piles of clothes on the floor as workers removed them from store fixtures, which also are for sale.
The news may be better for approximately 400 Sears stores that Lampert wants to keep open. Lampert’s ESL Investments Inc. was the winning bidder this week in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction for Sears Holdings Corp.’s assets, the company confirmed Thursday. Sears filed for bankruptcy in October.
Lampert’s $5.2 billion bid will save an estimated 45,000 jobs. Court approval is pending.
At the Virginia Center Commons store Thursday, much of the customer activity was around the remaining appliances. There were about a half-dozen refrigerators — though at least one had a “sold” sign on it. There were also a few ovens, microwaves, clothes dryers, patio furniture sets and weightlifting sets up for grabs. Also available were boxes of $2 Craftsman screwdrivers.
The company operates Sears and Kmart. It had 687 stores and 68,000 workers at the time of its bankruptcy filing.
The Sears at Virginia Center Commons is one of 40 Sears and Kmart stores that the company announced in November would close.
The closure will leave the Sears store at Chesterfield Towne Center as the only Sears left in the Richmond area. The company closed the Richmond region’s last Kmart in fall 2017.
Sears’ departure will leave another big vacancy in Virginia Center Commons mall.
A Macy’s store at the mall closed in 2016 as part of that retailer’s downsizing. Macy’s owned its 109,813-square-foot building on 9 acres and last year sold the property to a local investment group, Impact Investments Group LLC, for $1.275 million
Sears owns its 132,638-square-foot building and parking areas on a total of about 10 acres.
The mall’s remaining anchor tenants are J.C. Penney, American Family Fitness, Burlington and Powhatan County-based Dixon’s Auctions & Estate Sales.