HORSEHEADS — After months of local speculation it appears that the worst is true — Sears at the Arnot Mall in Horseheads is going out of business.
The store is currently covered in discount stickers and signs declaring “everything must go” while bargain hunters pick through an ever diminishing amount of discounted items.
While employees are telling customers that they expect the store to close sometime in April, store Manager John Carpenter said that he could not give a reason as to why the store was closing and referred all questions to Sears national media relations.
When asked if poor sales resulted in the closure, Carpenter said that sales were good.
“This is going to hurt the mall,” Carpenter added.
One employee said that a reason for the closure was never given and was not expected. Sears national media relations was not available for comment.
“This (stinks),” said area resident Chuck Griffin of the upcoming closing as he shopped for refrigerators.
“It just takes away another local opportunity to actually come in and shop for something in person. How can you put your hands on a refrigerator on a computer? Or Tools?” Griffin said.
Fellow shopper Adrian Genniro did not share that sentiment and said that the loss of Sears won’t mean much to the community.
“I only came in here if they had sales,” Genniro said as he shopped for jeans, adding that other local stores could pick up the slack.
It is unclear if the closure of the location at Arnot is related to the major restructuring Sears has been forced to endure after declaring bankruptcy in 2018.
During bankruptcy proceedings, Sears was then purchased by former company CEO Eddie Lampert for $5.2 billion, and while dozens of stores had been listed for closure across the country over the previous several months, the location at Arnot Mall was not one of them.
Currently there is no word as to whether Arnot has a tenant lined up to fill the space being vacated by Sears or how many employees will lose work as a result of Sears closing the Horseheads location.