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8/21/2017 10:32:00 AM
Empty big-box stores in Michiana mean big challenges for landlords
Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, has been one of the hardest hit companies in terms of big box closures. One of the latest rounds included this Kmart on McKinley Road in Mishawaka. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
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Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Kmart, has been one of the hardest hit companies in terms of big box closures. One of the latest rounds included this Kmart on McKinley Road in Mishawaka. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
Closures
Sears — 154 Hively Ave., Elkhart (to close in October)

Kmart — 420 W. McKinley Ave., Mishawaka (to close in early September)

hhgregg — 5802 Grape Road, Mishawaka (closed this summer)

Family Christian Store — 4110 Grape Road, Mishawaka (closed this spring)

Radio Shack — 1290 E. Ireland Road, South Bend (closed this spring)



South Bend Tribune

Jake Brown and Erin Blasko, South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Retail stores have spent most of this year in free fall.

Consider the staggering number of announced closures in 2017: 6,375 as of Aug. 1, according to Business Insider.

RadioShack leads the way at 1,430. So-called big boxes like Kmart (210), Sears (98), JCPenney (138) and Macy's (68) have all been shuttering locations.

RadioShack closed its Ireland Road location on South Bend's south side, while hhgregg closed all its stores, including one at Indian Ridge Plaza in Mishawaka. All Family Christian stores closed too, sweeping up locations in Mishawaka and Elkhart. Another store in South Bend had closed in 2016.

Sears Holdings Corp. has been announcing wave after wave of closings at its two main properties — Sears and Kmart. Recent closures include the Sears in Elkhart and Kmart on McKinley Road in Mishawaka. They'll both be shuttered by fall.

As more and more brick-and-mortar stores are going dark amid increasing competition from online retailers like Apple and Amazon, the question of how to reuse them is only likely to get harder, requiring even greater creativity on the part of landlords and tenants.

When Charter Fitness moved into one-half of the former Barnes & Noble store on Grape Road in early 2014, the 34,000-square-foot property had been vacant for nearly five years, ever since the bookseller moved up the street to the new lifestyle center at University Park Mall. It took another two years to lease the rest of the property — to Vineyard Church.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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