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WATERLOO — Sears Auto Center — the first business to open at Crossroads Center 48 years ago — is closing effective May 27, the store manager said Friday.

It is one of 50 Sears auto centers which Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Co. announced April 21 would close in a “strategic restructuring” program. Some 92 Kmart pharmacies also will be closed. No store closing list was released.

The Sears retail store at Crossroads will remain open.

Mike Featherson, manager of the Waterloo auto center, said the store employs five people and has scaled back significantly in the past three years.

No information was immediately available on severance or relocation options for the affected workers.

According to Courier files, the Sears Auto Center opened Feb. 5, 1969. The Sears retail store opened March 24, 1969. The interior mall opened March 13, 1970.

Sears announced earlier this year it was closing the Kmart retail store on University Avenue after nearly 50 years of operation, among 150 “nonprofitable” stores — including 108 Kmart and 42 Sears locations — closed this year.

The auto center and Kmart pharmacy closings were “incremental actions to increase (Sears Holdings) annualized cost savings target to $1.25 billion from $1 billion,” company officials said in an April 21 release. Additional measures include “consolidation of the leadership of retail operations for Sears and Kmart and elimination of certain senior management roles.”

The company also previously completed the sale of its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker for a net present value of over $900 million in cash.


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News Editor at the Courier

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