Sears department store was once known as the largest US retailer with over 4,000 stores. Shoppers could get anything from a bicycle to bread to a DIY kit home. After facing bankruptcy in 2018, only 12 Sears stores remained across the US by the end of 2023, with one in New Jersey at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City. Now, the last Sears store in New Jersey is closing, marked by closing sale signs already adorning its storefront — and now it was just announced that Dave + Buster’s will be taking over part of the space. Read on for details about the closure of Sears at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City + what’s to come.
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Sears to Close its Last New Jersey Location; Dave + Buster’s to Move In
Once the largest retail chain in the US, the last remaining Sears in New Jersey has confirmed its closure with signage posted at its location in Jersey City’s Newport Centre Mall. The department store is having a closing sale, offering discounted items on all of its inventory.
Following Sears’ closure, plans for the space are emerging. Dave + Buster’s, the well-known arcade and restaurant, is arriving at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, according to NJ.com. The arcade, known for its old-school video games, is in the plan to become the new tenant for Sears’ space. Since Sears occupies a significant area in the mall, Dave and Buster’s will only take up a fraction of it. The remainder of the space, which is two floors, will be divided between a shared common area for the mall and smaller retail stores. Primark, an Irish department store chain expanding its presence in the US, is joining several malls throughout the country, including Newport Centre which could be one of the new stores to take part of the space, according to Patch. Updates regarding the new tenant for the space will be disclosed as soon as developments unfold.
Despite Sears’s closure, the Newport Centre Mall’s other large retail stores, Macy’s, Kohls, and J.C. Penney, will remain open.
Sears Department Store
For well over a century, Sears was a go-to destination for American shoppers, selling everything from home goods to car batteries, watches, and affordable clothing. Sears Roebuck and Co., commonly known as Sears, was founded in 1886 by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck. starting as a mail-order catalog company based in Chicago, Illinois, Sears primarily sold watches and jewelry. The company rapidly expanded its products to include a wide array of items, such as clothing, appliances, tools, and household goods to cater to the needs of rural consumers.
In 1925, Sears opened its first retail store, marking a transition from mail-order sales to brick-and-mortar retail locations. Over the years, Sears expanded its retail footprint, becoming a dominant force in the American retail landscape — similar to what our Amazon looks like now. While Sears had numerous physical stores and Amazon operates differently, both share a wide array of offerings for consumers. They also share similarities through the usage of technology — Sears with its mail-order system and Amazon through the Internet.
In the 1970s-1980s, Sears reached its peak across the country. It even began to feature financial and real estate services, however, competition from discount retailers like Walmart and Target eventually led to the retailer’s decline.
In the early 1990s, Sears saw a huge decline in sales. The rise in e-commerce further impacted the company’s traditional retail model. In 2005, Sears merged with Kmart to form Sears Holding Corporation, hoping to revive both struggling chains. Instead, both retail stores faced difficulties together with increased competition from newcomer Amazon.
In 2018, Sears officially filed for bankruptcy, closing hundreds of stores in an attempt to reorganize its market but instead, the decline continued.