Sears at Brookfield Square Mall.
Freeman file photo
BROOKFIELD — Sears Holdings Corp. will close its
namesake location at Brookfield Square in mid-March,
company officials announced Thursday.
closure is one of 103 Sears and Kmart stores shutting
their doors this spring as the struggling retailer
continues to grapple with red ink and changes in the
“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of
the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and
will continue to right-size our store footprint in
number and size,” the company said in a news release
announcing the closures.
Sears, an anchor tenant at Brookfield Square since the
late 1960s, sold its store to CBL Properties, the
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based firm that owns the rest of the
mall, aside from Boston Store and JCPenney.
Sears’ ancillary auto center ceased operations last May.
City officials are working with CBL to redevelop the
property and its sea of asphalt into a combined hotel
and convention center. In recent months, CBL officials
have unveiled a series of plans for the main Sears space
as the retailer has continued operations through a
leaseback agreement. Plans have included using a portion
of the site for a Marcus Theatres BistroPlex and
WhirlyBall, a bar and restaurant offering such amenities
as bumper cars.
representatives have gone before the Brookfield Common
Council and Plan Commission in recent months to discuss
plans for the main department store property.
renderings, Sears has been part of the plans, albeit in
a much smaller footprint — from its current 160,000
square feet to about 18,000 square feet. Images
suggested the company could sell mattresses and
appliances in its new, reduced-footprint format.
Stacey Keating, director of public relations and
corporate communications with CBL Properties, said Sears
Holdings’ announcement this week does not preclude the
retailer from returning in the future.
“Final plans for the redevelopment are being finalized,
including whether Sears will elect to maintain a
presence as part of the project,” Keating said.
Sears Holdings representatives did not return calls and
emails for comment by The Freeman’s deadline on
What is set in stone now is Sears will have to close its
entire store to make way for razing most of the existing
Last year’s leaseback agreement between Sears and CBL
stipulated it could not be terminated during the holiday
shopping season. With redevelopment plans on the horizon
and the pivotal time for retailers having passed,
Keating said CBL opted to invoke its rights at this
When asked about when the Sears space will be razed and
new construction will sprout up, Keating declined to
“We’re working on finalizing plans and should have more
to share in the coming weeks,” Keating said.
Sears’ imminent closure in Brookfield also marks a
watershed moment for the veteran retailer, which was a
powerhouse throughout the 1980s and has long been
synonymous with such brands as Craftsmen, Diehard and
company will no longer have a full-line department store
in the metro Milwaukee area. Other locations at Bayshore
and Southridge malls have closed in recent years, as
have locations in Racine and Kenosha.
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., which was spun
off from Sears Holdings and is a separate company,
operates a small handful of appliance, hardware and
outlet stores in Southeastern Wisconsin, though none are
in Waukesha County.
<<EARLIER: Officials reviewing plans for Brookfield
Square BistroPlex theater
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