Sears to Close at the Columbia Mall

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HEMLOCK TOWNSHIP -- Sears confirmed that 57 employees will lose their jobs once Sears closes early next year at the Columbia Mall.

Sears is one of four anchor stores at the mall and store managers and customers say they are disappointed to see it go.

Walking through the Columbia Mall near Bloomsburg, you see a lot of vacant storefronts. Mall management said there are 12 vacant stores and soon to be 13. On January 18, Sears will close.

"It's going to be devastating to this mall. This mall has a lot of problems as it is and losing one of the big anchors is going to be devastating to this place," Dan Bitner said.

A company spokesperson says the store's 57 employees found out Wednesday they were out of a job. They are given the option to apply at other area Sears or Kmart stores.

"That's a shame. That's a shame. It just doesn't do business. Nobody comes here anymore," Jim McManus said.

A spokesperson for Sears says the store is closing due to a change in business circumstances. The store will start liquidating merchandise at the end of the month. Customers said they are disappointed.

"It's a very good store. They are very good with their customers and their appliances last forever," Melinda Lubold said.

Customers and employees at the Columbia Mall say business is not as good as it used to be.

"Trying to get it going but having a terrible time," Bitner said.

"I don't know if it's the economy, but just recently, every store that's been in here is leaving," Lubold said.

"I'm not surprised. Everything's closing around here, all these stores, we call it the ghost town mall," McManus said.

A representative for the Columbia Mall said mall management is determined to move forward and see the Columbia Mall succeed. She said the mall is looking for another anchor store to replace Sears.

The Sears store in the Schuylkill Mall is also slated to close.

3 comments

  • Francine Price

    The two best malls are the Wyoming Valley and Lehigh Valley Malls. This area of the Coal Region sucks and not one politician gives a rat’s behind either.

  • gtnsteve

    Wonder when the Honesdale Kmart will close. Their biz was badly affected when the predatory retailer from Arkansas moved in across Rt 6. Booooo.

  • GramRK

    Columbia Mall has been foundering for quite some time…It is a shame because it was a very busy mall when it was first built with all the stores full…not sure what happened to it ? I still go shopping there at what stores are left plus the hair salons. Wish the management would come up with some ideas to breathe some life back into it?? ..maybe update to something that is more appealing to the public ?? Hope the mall itself won’t die out…it is the only one close by in the Bloomsburg area…the next closest mall is Lycoming which is a 45 min drive away. Maybe the current state of the economy has something to do with it ? Sorry to see the Sears store closing…will be missed !

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