Sears prepares to shutter last large store in Pennsylvania as retail giant fades into history

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The last large-format Sears department store in Pennsylvania, at the Willow Grove Park mall, will close its doors permanently, perhaps in about a month.

“They’ve been dropping like flies,” said Jack Batra, who is known on social media as “List Man Jack” and part of a loose-knit community tracking through online postings, media announcements, and job boards the demise of the once-expansive Sears retail chain.

They estimate that only 16 large-format Sears stores remain after recent announced closings, including a Sears store shuttering in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday. Many smaller-format Sears stores, among them Sears Hometown Stores, with three outlets in Delaware, continue to operate. The Willow Grove store itself was down to a single floor of merchandise.

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Transformco, the company liquidating the Sears and Kmart stores, confirmed the Willow Grove closing and has listed the store and a Sears auto center at Willow Grove for lease. A brochure circulated in 2021 lists the Willow Grove Sears property as seven acres with 26,800 cars a day passing by. Last year, 5.7 million people visited the Willow Grove Mall.

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