Berkshire Mall Sears store to close
LANESBOROUGH — The Sears store at the Berkshire Mall may have dodged bullets in previous rounds of store closures over the past year, but not this time.
Sears will close early next year, The Eagle has learned.
The store is among 63 stores nationally, including Kmart, that are closing their doors, the company announced Thursday.
"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," Sears Holdings said in a release.
The store will run a sale that will begin later this month and continue through the end of January, according to a California advertising agency that has been authorized to handle a promotional campaign for the final sale. The Sears Auto Center is scheduled to close in December.
"Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores," the company said.
In response to an inquiry from The Eagle, a Sears spokesperson said that "the number of associates impacted is not available," and "the majority of these jobs are part-time positions."
The Berkshire Mall, which was built in the 1980s, has lost a number of major anchor stores in recent years — Thursday's announcement marks four out of five anchor stores lost in the past two years. Since 2015, the mall has lost Best Buy, Macy's, Eastern Mountain Sports, Payless Shoe Source, Kay Jewelers and J.C. Penney, which closed its doors in June of this year.
The Target store remains open; it owns an attached building.
Kohan Retail Investment Group, of New York, bought the mall in September of last year. The company owns 16 malls between Florida and Washington state and specializes in purchasing and trying to revitalize distressed shopping centers like the Berkshire Mall, which has seen three owners since 2014.
Mike Kohan, principal of the company, said that although it's been difficult to fill vacancies, he's not looking to sell the beleaguered shopping center anytime soon.
"At this point, I'm not thinking to sell it," he said. "We're going to push as hard as we can to fill those spaces."
Amanda Drane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @amandadrane on Twitter or at 413-496-6296.
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