LIMA — When the Lima Mall opened in 1965, Sears was one of its first anchor stores. Now, 53 years later, it will be closing, making it the second anchor store in the mall to close within the last two years.
The closing announcement came during the Sears Holdings report for the first quarter of 2018 was released Thursday. The Lima location at 2400 Elida Road is one of 72 unprofitable locations nationwide that will close down in early September.
The Lima location was able to avoid a closure last June when the company had planned to close the 72 stores. This was supposed to be a continuation of the closings in July 2016 which shut down 68 Kmart stores, including the one in Lima.
The 2018 report indicated there was a net loss of $242 million for the first quarter of 2018, which is $179 million less than the figures from the 2017 report.
The total revenue is approximately $2.9 billion during the first quarter of 2018 which is down 1.3 billion than in the 2017 quarter. The decline is a result of store closures, according to the report.
The total comparable store sales went down 11.9 percent during the 2018 quarter, resulting in a 13.4 percent decline at Sears and a 9.5 percent decline at Kmart.
On May 5, the company used approximately $994 million of its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility due in 2020. This encompasses $901 million of borrowings and $93 million outstanding credit, according to the release.
“To support our transformation efforts, we continue to take important, proactive steps to address our capital structure, enhance our liquidity position and provide the Company with additional financial flexibility,” stated Sears Chief Financial Officer of Holdings, Rob Riecker, in a news release. “We intend to take further action with respect to certain near-term maturities of our debt, including through repayments, refinancings and extensions of such debt.”
Sears employees who are laid off will receive severance pay and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at close-by Kmart and Sears locations, according to the news release. Liquidation sales at the closing stores will begin by June 14.
Now with Sears closing, and Elder-Beerman closing in 2016, two the Lima Mall’s anchor stores will be gone, leaving two large vacancies. However, marketing director for the Lima Mall and Lima Center Betsy Billingsley said that mall hopes to have plans for the space.
“We are already exploring opportunities to re-position the space and we already have been doing that,” said Billingsley. “We will release information when we can.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews