A longtime Dayton-area department store will be closing its doors next year.
Sears and its Auto Center, 5200 Salem Avenue, will be closing in mid-January, according to Howard Riefs, director of Corporate Communications for Sears Holdings.
Sears opened at the Salem Avenue location in 1966 and was once a main anchor store of the Salem Mall, which was demolished in 2006, but Sears remained.
“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail – at the store, online and in the home.”
Sears, which also owns Kmart, has closed 46 Sears stores in the U.S. between February 2012 and February 2013, according to Riefs.
Riefs also said that the store’s 67 employees will have the opportunity to apply for positions at other Sears or Kmart locations.
Trotwood City Manager Mike Lucking was disappointed to hear the news, but said he was not surprised by the announcement given the fact that Sears has had to close other stores.
“If you look at Sears as a corporation, they have lost over $300 million in the past year and a half. Their corporation is bleeding and they are certainly making lots of operational changes,” Lucking said.
The Trotwood store will begin its liquidation sale on October 25.
No word at this point as to what Sears will do with its Salem Avenue store after it closes. The company owns the building and the property it sits on, according to Lucking.
It is also unclear what will become of the old Salem Mall site. However, Lucking said he doesn’t expect to get any more retail businesses in that area.
“We know, in terms of the research that we’ve done, that retail is not the future for that Salem Avenue corridor,” Lucking said. “That’s just the way it is based upon a lot of things. Location, demographics, other stores that are in the area.”
Instead of retail, city officials are focusing on repurposing buildings in the mall area.