Wichita’s last Sears department store will soon be closed.
The troubled retailer announced plans Friday to shutter 80 of its Kmart and Sears locations by March — on top of an additional 182 it had originally planned on closing in the first quarter of 2019 as part of looming bankruptcy proceedings.
On Friday, the bell tolled for the Sears in Towne East Square, 7700 E. Kellogg — the last traditional Sears department store in Kansas.
The Sears Auto Center at the mall is also expected to close in late January.
Liquidation sales are expected to begin in two weeks, according to a news release from Sears.
According to a news release from Sears, the retailer informed employees of the closure on Thursday.
Wichita’s other Sears department store, in Towne West Square, closed in 2014.
A Topeka Sears location closed in September.
A manager at Wichita’s Sears Outlet store said Friday there are no plans to close it, emphasizing that Sears Outlet “is a separate company and ... we’re profitable as a company.”
Reaction to the news of Sears’ imminent closure online Friday came with decidedly little shock from Wichitans.
“Store has looked like it was closing for months,” one Facebook commenter wrote.
“Sad, but I don’t remember the last time I set foot in Sears,” another one wrote.
Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, saying at the time it would close more than 20 percent of all stores, keeping open only its 500 most profitable locations.
Contributing: Associated Press