Westmoreland Mall Sears to close in March |

Westmoreland Mall Sears to close in March

Jacob Tierney
The Sears at Westmoreland Mall

The Sears at Westmoreland Mall will close in March, one of 80 closures announced Friday as the once-mighty retail chain faces liquidation.

The company, which also owns Kmart, filed for bankruptcy in October and has since announced plans to close a total of more than 260 of its roughly 700 remaining stores within the next few months, according to a CNBC report .

The Kmart in West View will also close in March.

Unless a financial savior comes along at the last minute, Sears may be forced to shutter the rest of its stores.

Siblings Jerry Shanner and Jan Winkleman made a special trip from Blairsville to the Westmoreland Mall to shop at Sears Friday.

The drive used to be shorter. There used to be a Sears in nearby Indiana, but it closed last year.

“When we were kids, my mom always ordered our clothes from Sears. I’ve been wearing Sears clothes all my life,” Winkleman said.

Several shoppers, including Shanner and Winkleman, said they’d be said to see the store go.

Latrobe resident Cheryl Piper said when she was a kid the store was still known as Sears-Roebuck, and she’d go there with her mom. She’s still a regular shopper.

“I love Sears, I shop there a lot,” she said. “When I came to the mall, I’d come to Sears. They seemed to always have what you wanted.”

Sears has been in financial trouble for years, unable to fend off losses from online retailers. Sears chairman Edward Lampert proposed buying the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments, but as of Friday afternoon had not submitted a bid to do so, U SA Today reported .

“I’d really miss it, I shop here a lot,” said Vicki Smith, of Greensburg. “I buy all my appliances here, I like their prices.”

When Sears closes, it will be the second major anchor store at Westmoreland Mall to do so, following Bon-Ton, which closed in July.

A mini-casino will replace Bon-Ton, and local officials hope it will spur a new wave of interest and development in the mall.

Mall officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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