Sears Washington Square, Beaverton Kmart will close by year's end
Sears at Washington Square Mall in Tigard and Kmart in Beaverton will close as a result of the Sears bankruptcy filing Monday, Oct. 15.
They, along with Sears Auto Center at Willamette Town Center in Salem, are among the 142 stores affected of a total of around 700.
Sears has been one of the anchor stores at Washington Square Mall since November 1973, a few months before the opening of the mall itself in 1974. There is also a Sears Auto Center, which is not physically connected to the main mall. Tigard annexed the site in 1986.
Kmart is at 3955 S.W. Murray Blvd.
It was unclear from the statement by Sears Holdings when those stores would actually close, other than "near the end of this year," implying that they would stay open through the Christmas shopping season.
The statement said that liquidation sales would start "soon."
The latest closures bring to six the number of Sears and Kmart stores going out of business in Oregon and southwest Washington.
Sears has had a long history dating back to its founding as a mail-order house by Richard Sears and Alva Roebuck in 1892. But as many general department stores have, Sears has fallen on tough times. (It and Kmart merged their stores in 2005.)
With the impending Sears closure, the remaining anchor stores at the Washington Square Mall are Dick's Sporting Goods, Nordstrom's, JCPenney and Macy's, which acquired the old Meier & Frank stores in 2005 and renamed them in 2006.
"Too bad, they (had) been in business a long time," Tony Weisker of Beaverton wrote on The Times Facebook page. "They had some good products; their warranty on my appliances were the best.
"I wish they could have remodeled Sears and revamped to today's lifestyle to attract new and younger customers," he added. "I hope someone picks up the Craftsman brand and keeps the lifetime warranty."
Juli Madill of Beaverton wrote that the closure will allow Washington Square Mall to add a new anchor.
"Every time I walk by that store is looks so bare. Sad!" she wrote.
Washington Square is owned by The Macerich Co., a real estate investment trust based in Santa Monica, Calif., that is the nation's third-largest owner of shopping centers. Its other Oregon property is Valley River Center in Eugene.
Washington Square's website makes no mention of the impending Sears closure or any potential replacement in its space.
It's also uncertain what will happen to the space occupied by the Beaverton Kmart.
"I've been to the Kmart," Kevin O'Shea wrote on The Times Facebook page. "It reminds me of a creepy horror movie.....it's like a waste land. I do feel bad for all the people losing their jobs, though."
But Chris Johnsen of Beaverton wrote that he was a fan for a specific reason.
"I like the Kmart on Murray cause they have tall and fat men's clothes," he said.
The latest round of closures follows 46 that were announced on Aug. 22, among them the Sears stores at Clackamas Town Center and Vancouver Mall, and Kmart in Gresham. Those stores are scheduled to close in November.
The announcement by Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company, coincided with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and $300 million in new financing from its largest lender, ESL Investments. Edward Lampert, who leads the hedge fund, stepped down as Sears chief executive but remains as board chairman.