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Sears to shutter Tucson Mall store, last in area

Retailer reportedly closing another 26 stores across United States

Formerly a flagship of U.S. retailers, and now a flagging chain, Sears has been closing hundreds of its stores — including its eponymous department stores and Kmart sites. Among them will be the location at Tucson Mall, set to close in April.

The store has been open since the shopping complex debuted in 1982. Sears, founded in 1892 in Minnesota, closed its Park Place Mall store in 2018, where it had been located for 57 years.

"After careful review, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close" the last Tucson store, the company said. ""The liquidation sale begins this week and the store is planned to close in mid-April."

The diminished department store chain is reportedly closing 27 stores across the United States, the latest in a rolling wave of closures in the past several years.

The Tucson Mall location of the store covered more than 160,000 square feet, anchoring the west end of the retail complex.

In addition to the Sears stores it has shuttered, the company has closed many of its Kmart-branded stores — including the Tucson location on East Broadway, which was shut down in 2018. Sears closed its store in Sierra Vista that year, as well.

The company, Sears Holdings, filed for bankruptcy reorganization two years ago, after being taken over by a hedge fund titan.

The company did not disclose how many employees will be laid off. Sears has not filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act notice with Arizona authorities, online records showed.

The federal WARN Act mandates that companies planning mass layoffs — generally defined as 50 or more employees losing their jobs — to give workers at least 60 days' notice.

In 2018, Sears closed its last store in Chicago, the city from where the catalog and retail company grew to dominate generations of sales of everything from tools to clothing to entire houses. The company's headquarters in the Windy City, then known as the Sears Tower, was the tallest building in the world when it opened in 1973.

Sears, now operated by the hedge-fund controlled company Transformco, has shuttered more than 200 stores over the past several years.

The company has not mentioned its plans for the Sears Home Appliance Showroom on the Northwest Side.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

A flag at half-mast outside the Sears at Tucson Mall in January 2019.