About 150 Sears and Kmart stores are closing in the coming weeks, according to the company that owns both chains, but Ithaca’s Sears Hometown Store, which opened about a year ago, isn’t on that chopping block.
Sears Hometown Stores is a newer department store concept operated by the retail giant, offering a more limited selection of product lines than their full-size stores. As such, it’s a leaner retail model that’s more resilient as more and more stores face the onslaught of online shopping.
A Sears department store was one of the anchor stores at the Shops at Ithaca Mall for about 25 years, before closing about two years ago. The store opened as part of an expansion on the west side of what was then Pyramid Mall, including a larger Hoyt’s Cinemas movie theater complex. (Before Sears opened at Pyramid Mall in the late 1980s, Ithaca had a Sears Catalog Store at the nearby Triphammer Mall.)
At the Shops at Ithaca Mall, the new Sears Hometown Store features appliance and tool selections, including popular Sears brands, as well as housewares and apparel, in about a tenth the space of the former Sears.
Some Sears Hometown Store locations have closed in other areas over the last several weeks, but that’s not related to this week’s mass closing announcement of the larger Sears and Kmart department store locations.