Sears

The Sears store at Park City.

The Sears store at Park City, an anchor of the regional mall since 1972, will close on Sunday, March 10.

The 158,000-square-foot store is holding a liquidation sale, according to its parent company, Sears Holdings. The auto center closed in late January. 

Sears will be the second anchor at the mall to go dark. The Bon-Ton, in the former Watt & Shand space, closed in August.

The local Sears is among 80 stores to shut down in the third wave of downsizing by Sears Holdings since entering bankruptcy in October.

Including this third round, the company will have closed more than a third of its locations — 260 of 700 Sears and Kmart locations nationwide.

In a statement in December, Sears Holdings said this new round of closings is “part of (its) processes to accelerate its strategic transformation and facilitate its financial restructuring.”

That transformation took a major step forward Friday when the hedge fund of Sears Chairman Edward Lampert submitted a $4.4 billion bid for the retailer, The Chicago Tribune reported. The hedge fund had written to Sears’ investment banker early this month that the proposal would keep Sears afloat and preserve “tens of thousands of jobs.”

Customers saddened

Customers at Sears in December, when the closing was announced, were disappointed by news of the impending closing.

“There’s hardly anything in there compared to what it used to be like,” said a Holtwood woman, who declined to give her full name. “It looks like it’s closing right now.”

The woman, who’s shopped at various Sears stores since she was a child, said she’s sad to see the retail giant dwindling.

“You wonder about the poor people who work here. What are they going to do?”

Andy Carrol, from Manheim Township, said he doesn’t shop at Sears often but does come there occasionally for its Lands’ End merchandise.

“It’ll be a little bit more inconvenient for making returns of Lands’ End stuff,” he said, “but I don’t think it’ll be a big impact (on me).”

Marian Cartwright and Carolina Sumner, who drove from York to Park City, said they were upset that the store was closing because they'd rather not buy clothing online.

“It’s harder to return things online. You can’t try things on, and as a woman especially I like to try things on before I buy them,” Cartwright said.

A spokeswoman for Park City, the county's biggest retail destination, could not be reached for comment.

Lancaster merchant for 85 years

Sears came to Lancaster by opening a store on Penn Square in 1933, eight years after the company — then a national mail-order merchant — diversified into bricks-and-mortar retailing with a store in Chicago.

Its first Lancaster store stood where a fountain is today.

To expand, Sears moved to 40 E. King St. in 1941, according to LNP files. The site now houses the county probation and parole offices.

Sears was among the first downtown Lancaster retailers to leave center-city when it expanded again by relocating to the first suburban shopping center here, the Lancaster Shopping Center, in 1958.

The former Sears store now is home to A.C. Moore arts and crafts supplies store, plus other retailers.

Fourteen years later, Sears caught the next retail wave in Lancaster by returning to the city — at Park City.

Bon-Ton websites revived by new owner, fate of shuttered stores still unknown

But the parent company, Sears Holdings, has been knocked down by the current wave, e-commerce, as well as the emergence of powerful competitors such as Target and Walmart.

In addition to the Sears at Park City, Sears Holdings operates four Kmart stores here: in Columbia, Elizabethtown, Ephrata and Willow Street.

Sears Holdings earlier closed its two Lancaster Kmarts. The Kmart on Fruitville Pike shut in March 2017. The Kmart in East Towne Center went dark in May 2015.