Oak View Mall in May 2015.

Oak View Mall in May 2015.

Sears will close its store at Oak View Mall later this year.

Liquidation sales will begin June 22, a spokesman said.

The Sears Auto Center there will close in late July. The Sears store is expected to close in early September.

Sears released a list of 63 stores last week that it planned to close in the coming months. No Omaha stores were on the list, but the company said then that nine other stores were being re-evaluated; it seems the Oak View store was one of those nine.

The Sears spokesman said employees were notified Wednesday that the store would close, and that they would receive severance and the opportunity to work at other Sears stores or the company’s Kmart stores.

Sears still has one store at Crossroads Mall, and it includes an auto center. The company has closed all of its Kmart stores in Omaha, with the last one at 50th and L Streets closing in January. One Kmart store in Council Bluffs remains.

The closures are only the latest round for Sears, which has been steadily shuttering stores for years.

The company lost $424 million, or $3.93 per share in the first quarter this year.

The closing will be a blow to Oak View Mall, which is on track to lose two anchor stores. Younkers will close all of its stores, including one at Oak View, after it completes liquidation. Younkers’ parent company, Bon-Ton Stores, declared bankruptcy and no buyer emerged to run the stores.

Oak View’s general manager did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The loss of one anchor, let alone two, can send a mall spiraling. Anchor stores typically bring in foot traffic and customers who then shop at other stores within the mall. Oak View is owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties, which also owns Westroads Mall.

Oak View’s occupancy rate in 2017 was about 87 percent, according to General Growth’s annual report. Among the company’s more than 120 properties nationally, Oak View had one of the lowest occupancy rates. Westroads’ occupancy rate for the year was about 97 percent.

General Growth also acknowledged the difficult retail environment in its recent annual report.

“For retailers who had been in a decline for more than a decade, 2017 was their year of demise,” General Growth said in its annual report. “These retailers lost their emotional connection to the consumer, lacked investment in their physical platforms, and had not made appropriate investments in an omni-channel environment.”

General Growth said the scale of the closures was unanticipated, and that it lost approximately $50 million because of them.

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