FLORENCE, Ala. - Residents in the Shoals will be losing a longtime retailer in just a couple of months.
For more than 50 years, Sears has been a major retailer in the city of Florence. First operating in downtown, Sears moved to Florence Mall, anchoring the development for 38 years.
City leaders got word of their closure this week.
“We anticipated it was going to happen,” said Florence Mayor Steve Holt. “Going back to when the Sears/Kmart merger took place years ago, I think every city anticipated that they may be on the hit list for being the next one.”
Mayor Holt said the 135,000-square-foot retail store will be closing in late March or early April. And although he wasn’t surprised by the closure, Holt hopes mall owners can redevelop the property.
“I do think we will see two or three junior anchor stores where Sears is,” Holt explained. “I hate to lose Sears, they’re a staple of this community and many other communities, but they are changing as retailers also.”
Holt added the city is going to be more aggressive than ever recruiting retailers into the regional shopping hub the Shoals is known for.
Mayor Holt also said he plans to meet with mall owners later this month to discuss future plans for the facility.