MASSENA, New York – The anchor store of the St. Lawrence Center in Massena will close in the new year putting 51 people out of work.
The Sears retail store and auto center is listed in a report from the investor website Seeking Alpha on Sears Holding’s plans to close more than 100 Sears, Sears Auto Center and Kmart locations across the United States.
The Seeking Alpha report says the store is expected to start liquidation Friday (Oct. 31) and the closure of the Route 37 outlet would happen by mid-January.
Sears Holdings Corp. had earlier disputed the report but the struggling retailer eventually acknowledged the plans to close down dozens of stores but would provide more accurate numbers when it reports third quarter earnings in November.
Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce Director Kathleen Kelly-Ori says the closure will be felt in the short-term because major retail is a component of the North Country economy.
“This will impact us. It eliminates one choice that we have for retail shopping,” said Kelly-Ori.
But she doesn’t believe the hole in the retail sector will last long.
“I think in situations like this they tend to fill in themselves where it’s just an adjustment. I’m very hopeful for Massena and (these) things happen and we’ll get through it. We always do,” she said.
Kelly-Ori stresses that Sears has been a very strong member of the community and the chamber is “very saddened” by the loss of the outlet and jobs.
A call to St. Lawrence Center General Manager David Viola was not returned.