Sears at Silver City Galleria to close in November

By: Amanda Pitts

alpitts@abc6.com

@AmandaPittsTV

TAUNTON, Mass. — Sears at the Silver City Galleria has announced they’re shutting their doors this fall.

The Taunton location that dates back to 1993 is just one of 46 Sears and K-Mart locations across the country closing in November.

"Their biggest intake for people was Sears and now with that being gone, once that leaves, it’s just gonna make it worse," said Billie-Jo Pierce of Lakeville.

In New England, five stores are closing in total. In addition to Taunton, the Holyoke location, two locations in New Hampshire, and a K-Mart in Connecticut will also shut down.

The company said in a statement that they had to shut down their unprofitable stores to focus on their best ones, adding that the decision was part of their ongoing efforts to streamline Sears Holdings’ operations and strengthen their capital position.

"I remember when this first opened up and it’s kinda sad that all the stores are closing up and we’re gonna have to go out of town to go to a mall," said Stephen Mello of Bridgewater.

Mello, like other shoppers at the mall Thursday, were not happy at the prospect of having to drive farther to shop.

"It’s a distance if you have to go somewhere, and now JCPenney’s gone, Macy’s is gone, all the stuff I used to shop at," said Dona Mitchell of Taunton.

Silver City currently has 70 businesses in operation, but with Sears gone, Dick’s Sporting Goods is left as the only anchor.

The Macy’s and Best Buy locations closed last year, and JCPenney closed in 2015.

Despite the closures, mall management says they’re not worried, saying this gives them an opportunity to redevelop the empty spaces into something more profitable.

“We are in active discussions with both Sears and Macy’s to acquire their property to allow the mall owners to proceed with a plan to “right-size” our retail footprint allowing for the addition of other, alternative uses such as residential, hotel, medical and office components," said Gar Herring, CEO of MG Herring Group.

The mall also said that it’s having success with businesses like Regal Cinemas and Round 1 Bowling & Amusements, helping them compete as retail grapples with online giants.

Sears will officially close in November, and the Auto Center is set to close at the end of August.

(c) WLNE-TV 2018