Sears at Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville Is Closing

Photo by Janell Hunter The Sears store at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville continues to operate, but the future of the entire chain retailer is in doubt.

Sears at the Ohio Valley Mall is expected to close this summer, said Joe Bell, Cafaro Co. spokesman.

Bell said while the Cafaro Co. has been preparing for years for a possible closure of the store, they were somewhat surprised to learn the news.

Initially, Sears said the mall store would be among the “newly reconsituted Sears” and remain open moving forward, while others were going to be closed.

“I think probably because of a new spate of lawsuits against Sears they decided to close a few more stores,” Bell said.

Bell said he anticipates liquidation sales will begin as early as this week. The store likely will close late June or early July, depending on how long the liquidation sale lasts.

After that, Sears will have to turn over the space back to the mall. Cafaro Co. owns the mall.

“Our real estate people saw this coming 10 years ago,” Bell said. “We’ve been quietly planning for a replacement for that space.”

Bell said he could not disclose any names of any potential new retailers for the space, but added there are a variety being considered.

“It is a promising spot,” he said.

Sears has struggled financially during the past few years, filing for bankruptcy and closing stores elsewhere in the country.

The mall has been under a redevelopment of sorts for the past several years. It started with Boscov’s moving in, renovating and taking over a large portion of the mall. With Boscov’s also came the remodeling of much of the interior and main mall entrance facing Interstate 70.

More recently, the mall announced the former Kmart space would be razed to make way for a new Dunham’s sporting goods store and Hampton Inn & Suites hotel. Bell said demolition of the Kmart is expected to be complete by this Friday. Construction of the new store and hotel may begin later in the summer.

Meanwhile, inside the mall the new Belmont County VA Outpatient Clinic recently opened in the former MC Sports location.

And while it is not definite, Bell said Cafaro Co. officials are confident the Pat Catan’s craft store is going to be rebranded as a Michael’s crafts store. Pat Catans has been slowly liquidating its inventory since its parent company, The Michaels Companies, announced in January that it would be closing 36 stores and rebranding 12 others.

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