The Sears Anchor Store at Woodfield Mall was instrumental in the creation and early success of the mall, part of the mall’s name – “Wood” by former Sears chairman Robert E. Wright. Wood – Tribute to the iconic retailer.
But now, a week after suburban shopping mecca celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Woodfield Sears store is finally getting ready to close its doors.
Officials at Transformco, the parent company based in Sears’ Hoffman Estates, announced Thursday that it will open its last remaining Woodfield store in Illinois on Nov. Announced closing on the 14th.
“This is part of the company’s strategy to unleash the value of real estate and pursue the highest and best use for the benefit of the local community,” the announcement said.
Transformco did not provide the planned redesign details but said the company is in talks with top quality retailers to fill the space.
“The redesign of this space is primarily focused on retail use, while enhancing the consumer experience with popular retailers to match Woodfield Mall’s regional draw, we want to revitalize and enhance the value of real estate,” said Real Estate Chairman Scott Car Transfor.
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Thursday’s announcement follows the closure of Sears in other suburban malls in recent years, including Runthurst Village on Mount Prospect, Oak Brook Center in Oak Brook, Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee and Hawthorne Mall in Vernon Hills.
Schamberg Mayor Tom Daily said Thursday was a day of mourning for the death of a local icon.
“Personally for me, the village and its residents, Sears is very present in the Chicago area and nation,” Daily said. “It’s sad to see that intimacy. I grew up with Sears. I have Sears equipment. All of my tools are Sears.”
A thorough conversation between the village, Woodfield and Transforco officials is appropriate in the future, given the various possibilities for the larger space.
Representatives of the Simon Property Group, the parent company of Woodfield Mall, mentioned all questions about closing back to Sears.
Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal signed autographs and met fans at the Woodfield Mall Sears store in 2014.
– Daily Herald file photo, 2014
Although the village has recently opened the door to residential development in that area of the village, the Daily said it is too early to discuss housing on the Woodfield property, considering the proposed 208-unit apartment building on the north side of the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.
Schaumburg Economic Director Matt Frank agreed. While residential use is not off the table, there are many possibilities close to Woodfield’s current identity, he said.
“Obviously this is a unique opportunity to have a great location,” Frank said.
Options include dividing the space into smaller shops or some kind of sports or entertainment area.
The second closure of a Woodfield anchor store in several years. Malin Lord & Taylor closed in 2020.
Jason Trulo presented a free concert at Sears in Woodfield Mall in 2010 as one of the 20 Rock the Sean VIP style reporters audited.
– Daily Herald file photo, 2010
While the closure of the store was another sign of Sears’ demise as a cer and motor retailer, officials at neighboring Hoffman Estates said Thursday they knew of no significant changes at Transforco’s headquarters 11 miles west of Woodfield.
According to the company, Transformco’s strategy for Sears & Smart is to implement a diversified portfolio that includes a small number of large, premier stores and a large number of smaller format stores. The company said that Transforco will continue to expand into both Hometown Stores and Home & Life Store in cities and towns.
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