The last Sears in the New York area is closing. Just over a dozen remain in America

Originally Published: 11 JAN 24 08:20 ET

Updated: 11 JAN 24 08:46 ET

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Sears’ last-remaining store in the New York metro area is closing, bringing the number of Sears locations still in existence down to about a dozen.

A Facebook post for the Jersey City location, just across the river from Manhattan, recently announced a “store closing” sale, ending its nearly 40-year run as an anchor store for the Newport Centre Mall. An official closing date wasn’t revealed.

Sears used to have at least 11 stores in New Jersey, however they all have closed (or about to close) since the brand’s 2018 bankruptcy that resulted in hundreds of closures around the US.

Following the shuttering of the Jersey City location, the closest Sears for the New York metro area shoppers is 227 miles away in Braintree, Massachusetts.

At its peak, Sears and its sister brand Kmart had 3,500 US stores between them and more than 300,000 employees once the retailers merged in 2005. Now, there are only just over a dozen Sears remaining in the continental US.

Recently, two Sears locations quietly reopened — Burbank, California, and Union Gap, Washington — with the former location looking a lot like the Sears shoppers used to love, according to a CNN reporter who visited it last month.

Sears is owned by hedge fund operator Eddie Lampert’s company Transformco. He bought the chain for $11 billion almost 20 years ago and all but ran one of America’s most well-known brands into the ground.

In the years after Lampert’s takeover, sales at the 138-year-old retailer slowed amid a lack of investment in store updates, a slower pivot to e-commerce and increased competition from other big box retailers and newer online behemoths such as Amazon.

By 2018, the company had filed for bankruptcy. The next year, Lampert’s hedge fund bought the remains of the business out of bankruptcy and renamed its parent company Transformco. The retailer exited bankruptcy with 223 Sears and 202 Kmart stores nationwide. But six years later, most of those stores have closed.

Some suggest that Lampert used the Sears acquisition as a play in the real estate market. His plans for the brand going forward are less clear with the company’s media department unresponsive to inquiries.

As for the future of the Jersey City location, there are multiple reports that Primark, a fast-growing Irish department store known for its affordable clothing and home goods, is possibly taking over the Sears’ spot.

CNN’s Samantha Delouya contributed to this report.