WATERLOO — A local department store is shutting its doors after seven decades of doing business as part of a larger nationwide closing of dozens of similar stores.
Sears, located at 2060 Crossroads Blvd. in Waterloo, is scheduled to close in early April, according to documents released Thursday by its parent company Sears Holding Company.
Sears Holding announced Thursday it would close 39 Sears stores and 64 Kmart stores nationwide by late March and early April. Kmart locations in Red Oak and Urbandale were also scheduled to be closed.
Employees were notified Thursday, according to the company.
The store manager of Sears Waterloo referred all questions to the public relations department of Sears Holdings. A voice mail message at that number referred reporters to the document of store closings.
“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right-size our store footprint in number and size,” the company said in a statement. “In the process, as previously announced, we will continue 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 also noted “eligible associates” would receive severance pay and “have the opportunity” to apply at remaining Sears and Kmart stores. The nearest ones were in Marshalltown and Cedar Rapids.
The company has been steadily closing Kmart and Sears stores — more than a quarter of its total — as it tries to stave off filing for bankruptcy. Many financial analysts, seeing Sears has been burning through more than $1 billion in cash annually since 2014, believe the company’s efforts are too little, too late.
The news follows the previous closing of the Waterloo Sears Auto Center in April 2017 and the Waterloo Kmart in January of 2017.
Sears opened at Crossroads on March 24, 1969, predating the opening of Crossroads Mall in 1970. It had previously been located in downtown Waterloo for decades as the Sears, Roebuck and Company, dating back to at least the 1940s.
The manager of the Waterloo Sears store in 2011 told The Courier his store was one of the top-performing stores in the country.