Sears closing up shop in New York City
The store’s Art Deco-style Flatbush location set to close in November after 79 years
Sears is set to close its final New York City location after 89 years on November 24, according to The City.
The iconic Flatbush, Brooklyn outpost is sporting several signs for closing sales, signaling an end of an era for the department store that’s been in business on the same corner since 1932, when future first lady Eleanor Roosevelt addressed the crowd at its grand opening.
The store at the corner of Beverley Road and Bedford Avenue is arguably best known for its Art Deco style, which helped secure landmark status from the city in 2012. That status doesn’t prevent development from taking place, but the designation does mean that the facade and limestone tower must remain intact.
Transformco, which acquired various Sears assets, said in a statement reported by The City the location is a prime candidate for redevelopment. However, the company didn’t specify any plans for the lot.
Sears’ iconic Flatbush location has lived multiple lives. When it temporarily closed at the beginning of the pandemic, its parking lot became a drive-through Covid-19 testing site. The three-story building also housed a Kmart in its basement, which is also set to close, months after the retailer closed its last Manhattan location (destined to become a Wegman’s grocery store).
New York City is among a slew of locations to lose Sears stores after the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018. In November, the final Sears store in Illinois is set to close as well.
The storied company’s bankruptcy was linked to its struggle to pivot into e-commerce, a sharp contrast to its reign as one of the nation’s largest retailers until the 1990s.
[The City] — Holden Walter-Warner