Chesterfield Sears closing reveals changing landscape of shopping

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The last two Sears stores in Central Virginia, located in Spotsylvania and Chesterfield, are shutting their doors.

The announcement that 96 Sears and K-Mart stores will close nationwide came Thursday. 8News went to the Chesterfield Towne Center on Friday to learn more about the changing landscape of shopping.

“Some of us remember the big Sears catalog that you would get in the mail,” Danielle Fitz-Hugh, the president and CEO of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, said.

Sears will soon be an online-only option for shoppers in Central Virginia. With one of its anchor stores closing soon, the mall experience at the Chesterfield Towne Center will certainly change as well.

Fitz-Hugh says the news of Sears closing in Chesterfield is part of a bigger conversation about the evolving consumer and how malls are adapting to survive.

“They’re not just coming to pick up an outfit because they can pick up an outfit from their phone,” she told 8News. “So now they can come ‘oh I’ve gotta grab something to eat let’s plan a night out and make some other reasons to come.'”

New restaurants and a gym were just added to the Chesterfield Towne Center but there’s no word on what could replace the department store.

“I think the mall property managers are doing a good job of re-vibing what the mall looks like and creating a destination and experience for shoppers to come,” Fitz-Hugh said.

“There’s nothing to say you need to have another retailer that’s gonna take 30,000 square feet of space go into it. They could look at some multi-purpose use for the space and break it down,” she continued.

Sears says going out of business and liquidation sales will start on Dec. 2 and that stores will officially close by February 2020.

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