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Sears Will Close Downtown Chicago Flagship Store in April

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Sears is shutting down operations at its flagship State Street store in early April, Crain's reported yesterday. This leaves the storied-yet-struggling retailer without a presence in the downtown retail area of its hometown. A spokesman for Sears said the store "had lost millions of dollars" since it opened in 2001, when it launched as a bid to connect with urban customers. Sears can't blame the neighborhood though—the Chicago Tribune quotes the Chicago Loop Alliance's executive director as saying that State Street retail sales are at their highest level in decades.

The closure could reflect a move toward expanding Sears' footprint online. Reuters reports that Sears' CEO Edward Lampert wrote in a blog post that consumers' switch to online shopping requires fewer physical stores.

Approximately 160 employees will lose their jobs at the State Street store, but they are invited to apply at other Sears and K-Mart stores. Reuters reports that Sears Holdings has closed about 300 US stores since 2010.
· Sears closing flagship store in Chicago's Loop [Crain's]
· Sears to Close Flagship Loop Location in April [Chicago Tribune]
· Sears Closes Chicago Flagship Store as it Moves to Online Retail [Reuters]
· Macy's Massive Layoffs Have Already Helped the Store [Racked]