Sears Store And Auto Center In West Hartford Announces Closing, REI Planned

The Sears store in Corbin's Corner will close in January 2017 and a REI is planned for the location.

The store will begin its liquidation sale on Nov. 11, said Howard Riefs, Sears director of corporate communications. The Sears Auto Center will close in early January and the store will close in late January, he said in a statement.

The Sears store and Auto Center was recently sold to Seritage Growth Properties as part of the agreement in which Sears Holdings leases the store from Seritage, Reifs said. Under the agreement, Seritage has the right to recapture the space occupied by the store, he said.

After Sears' departure, the space will be developed for REI, along with additional junior box and small shop retailers, including restaurants, according to the Seritage third quarter operating results.

Saks Off 5th, the outlet version of the luxury department store, has signed a lease and will also occupy some of the space, West Hartford Community Services Director Mark McGovern said in an email Thursday.

McGovern was unable to confirm other tenant information.

REI has a store at 71 Raymond Road in Blue Back Square. A manager at the store Thursday night said he had not received information on whether the store would be relocating.

Mayor Shari Cantor said Thursday night the new development would be a great addition to the town, but she could not discuss many details.

"New state of the art development with attractive tenants can be a real regional draw," Cantor said. "It will continue to strengthen Corbin's Corner."

Multiple customers shopping at the Sears Thursday afternoon said they were disappointed about not having a local place to shop for Land's End clothes.

"I always love to come here. I love the Land's End sweaters," said Stephan Julien, of Bloomfield. "It's going to be sad."

David Kent, of Newington, said he comes to Sears about four times a year and was saddened to hear of the store's closing. As an alternative, he said, he would shop at the J.C. Penney store across the street.

John Phelan, of Southington, said he was unhappy because Sear's is one of the only places that sells his favorite clothing brand.

"I've been a costumer at Sears for 55 years," he said. Its convenient, convenient to the mall. My wife shops in the mall and I come over here and shop for Land's End."

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