The ramifications of Sears filing for bankruptcy will have far-reaching effects that are not limited to the national stage.
On Monday shortly after announcing that their company was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Sears Holdings officials confirmed that Pleasanton’s Sears in the Stoneridge Shopping Center would be closing before the end of the year -- along with 141 other Sears and Kmart locations nationwide.
"Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets," Edward S. Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings said in a statement. "While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the company's immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer.”
As a part of the company’s financial restructuring and liquidation process, 10 Sears and Kmart locations in California will be closed down for good, two of which are located in the Bay Area -- the other is a Sears in Santa Rosa.
While Pleasanton Sears employees declined to comment on the store's future, staff seemed surprised as numerous "now hiring" signs and banners were still on display throughout the store Monday afternoon.
A representative of Simon Property Group, which owns the Stoneridge Mall, declined to comment on the Sears news Monday afternoon.
It remains unclear how Simon might address the upcoming vacancy -- though the Weekly has previously reported that given Sears' struggles on a national level, discussions in Pleasanton have considered Nordstrom moving to the Sears building, freeing up more space for new retail, dining and entertainment on the Nordstrom side of the mall.
"While we are disheartened by the closing of our local Sears store, which has been an anchor at Stoneridge Shopping Center for many years, we look forward to working closely with the center’s owner Simon Properties on new opportunities and amenities," Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho said. "As has been the case when individual stores have closed over the years, the quality of the center and of our community has continued to attract new retailers interested in opening in Pleasanton. We’re confident that Simon is committed to investing in Stoneridge and positioning the center for success long into the future."
Liquidation sales at the affected stores are expected to begin shortly, with the goal of all selected locations officially closing before the year ends.
“Our goal is to achieve a comprehensive restructuring as efficiently as possible, working closely with our creditors and other debt holders, and be better positioned to execute on our strategy and key priorities," Lampert said.
The mass of store closures comes of the announcement of 46 “unprofitable stores” in August -- those stores are expected to be completely closed prior to November's end, Sears Holdings officials said.
Other Sears stores remain open nationwide, as does Sears website sales, but officials have not ruled out the possibility of closing more stores in the future.
"As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers. We thank our vendors for their continuing support through the upcoming season and beyond. We also thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to providing millions of Americans with value and convenience," continued Lampert.
As a part of the company's bankruptcy filing, the Sears CEO has resigned and will be replaced by a team of three company executives, added Sears Holdings officials.
The departure of Sears marks the second large retailer to close its doors in the past several months. In August, it was announced that Orchard Supply Hardware would be closing down all 99 of its nationwide locations, including its Pleasanton and San Ramon stores.