WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Another blow to the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre Township as Sears announced it will close its store by mid-July and the Auto Center by mid-May.
This comes after Bon-Ton announced earlier in the week that it was bankrupt and sold all its stores to liquidators.
Customers coming out to the mall were sad to hear about a loss of another anchor store.
“We came here for years and you come for tools, he comes for tools,” said Mary Ann Harkenreader from Laurel Run.
“It's a good store. They have clothes, they have hardware for your house, they have everything,” said Lisa Llanos from Hazleton.
“I think the problem is, how do you try clothes on? You're going to be stuck online, making your purchase, then having to return it. Hopefully, it comes back correctly in the right size,” said Bob Bohn from Swoyersville.
Now the only anchor retailers left at the mall are Macy's and JC Penney.
For many of the shoppers, they wonder if the smaller shops will be able to stay afloat with two big empty department stores.
“Looks like the smaller stores aren't going to make it. I mean anchor stores are the key to all these malls,” said Bohn. “I hope one of the larger chains will come back but right now I just can't see that happening.”
The only Sears stores left in Northeastern and central Pennsylvania are in Lock Haven and in the Poconos.
A Sears spokesperson says those stores will remain open.
Still many feel the department store that was founded in 1893 may be on its way out.
“It's a shame to see it go but unfortunately it's going to be a thing of the past,” said David Harkenreader.
“We bought everything there for our kids and ordered the catalog. Yeah the catalog was wonderful,” said Mary Ann Harkenreader.
Sears said it will start its liquidation sale at the store in the mall on Friday, April 27th.