Sears to close at Valencia Town Center


The seemingly inevitable is official: Sears is going out of business at the Valencia Town Center.

Sears Holdings, the ailing parent company of Sears and Kmart that shuttered hundreds of stores last year as part of ongoing efforts to stabilize its finances amidst heavy sales losses, announced Thursday that it would close 103 additional stores this year.

The Santa Clarita location, one of the mall’s anchors along with Macy’s and JCPenney, will be among 39 Sears to close between March and April as Sears Holdings continues to “close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members,” the company said in a statement.

The Sears closure will come less than a year after the Santa Clarita Valley lost its Kmart in a previous round of cost-cutting measures. Another 64 Kmart stores will be closed this year, including Arroyo Grande, Cudahy, Ontario, Redding and Taft in California.

The immediate response on The Signal’s Facebook page to Sears’ demise was mostly unsurprise.

“I saw that coming from a mile away,” Albert Jiminez wrote.

“Knew it was coming, just don’t know why they expanded the mattress dept and got rid of electronics,” Mary Gomes-Switzler wrote.

Another poster, Leo Gomez Montiel, predicted a future closing at the town center.

“JC Penney is next, mark my words. These stores are stuck in the 90s. They failed to keep up with the times,” he commented.

Five other California cities will also lose Sears stores this year: Brea, Hanford, San Jose, San Rafael and Westminster.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as Jan. 12 at closing stores, Sears Holdings announced.

A once vibrant piece of Americana, Sears has plummeted in recent years with the rise of Amazon and other e-commerce. Sears stock closed down nearly 5 percent, at a measly $3.58, following Thursday’s news. Sears shares dropped 61 percent in 2017 after slipping 55 percent in 2016.

The Valencia Town Center did, however, avoid a double dose of bad news on Thursday.

Hours ahead of Sears Holdings’ announcement, Macy’s finalized plans to close 11 stores in its own fight with declining revenues. That list includes four California locations, including Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, but spared the Santa Clarita Valley location.

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