After 62 years, Sears has served its last customer on Long Island.
Urban Edge Properties told Newsday that the store at the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, the final one on Long Island, closed Sunday. The Manhattan-based real estate investment trust, which purchased the mall with partners in December, plans to redevelop it and reposition Sears’ former anchor space.
Sears stores have been systematically closing across the country since a complicated bankruptcy proceeding began in October 2018.
Transformco, which took over 223 Sears and 202 Kmart locations, reached an agreement with Urban Edge in September to terminate Sears’ leases at the Sunrise Mall, Bruckner Commons in the Bronx and one Puerto Rico location, according to Newsday. Urban Edge agreed to pay $20 million to get control for the three spaces effective Oct. 15 rather than have moribund Sears linger in them.
Sears opened its two-floor store at the Massapequa mall in October 1995, taking up more than 100,000 square feet. The mall has three anchor tenants left and was 34 percent vacant as of the end of the second quarter, a substantially worse rate than the average Long Island mall.
Sears opened its first outlet on Long Island in 1959 and operated as many as 3,500 across the country as of 2005. The retailer has struggled mightily since.
In the last three and a half years, 11 Sears stores have closed on Long Island, reflecting a trend across the nation as consumers say goodbye to the iconic department store.
Last month, Sears announced that it would be close its last outpost in Illinois in November. The Woodfield Mall store in Schaumburg is the final Sears in the state where the company was founded.
November will also bring the closure of the last Sears in New York City. The iconic Flatbush, Brooklyn, location with its Art Deco style will be closing after 89 years in business.
According to retail consulting firm Creditntell/F&D Reports, only 35 Sears locations are left in the entire United States, Newsday reported.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner