Sears makes way for the new at Fordham Rd.

Sears is closing its Bronx, 404 E. Fordham Road store to reduce on-going expenses, adjust their asset base, and accelerate the transformation of their business model according to the company as originally reported by ADRIANNE PASQUARELLI of Crain’s New York Business.

Struggling retail giant Sears is nixing its last store in the Bronx. The Illinois-based chain recently filed a notice with the state Department of Labor, warning that the company will be laying off 91 employees at its 404 E. Fordham Road store. It will ring up its last sale in late November, according to a Sears spokesman.

The 262,000-square-foot East Fordham Road building which houses the department store was redeveloped in 2007 by Acadia Realty Trust, and then sold just last year for $133.9 million to Retail Properties of America. For many years, the property has been known by locals as simply the “Sears Building,” despite the fact that today it also houses a Walgreens and Best Buy, as well as a 24-Hour Fitness. Daniel Bernstein, deputy director of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, expects the Sears space to draw wide interest from other retailers given its prime location across the street from Metro North’s Fordham station and the university for which it is named.

“We have a lot of things we’re missing—nightlife and restaurants, for example,” he said, noting that though the area has a 3% vacancy rate for retail, it also houses too many cellphone stores. “We’re trying to work with property owners to get more desirable businesses the community wants and needs.”

The BID is going to be working with JGSC Group, a retail consultancy, to host broker breakfasts and get the word out about the up-and-coming neighborhood to other stores. Already, the area has attracted newcomers TJ Maxx, Starbucks and Chipotle.

Sears Holdings, which also owns Kmart, will still operate an auto center on Third Avenue in the Bronx. The company also operates two Sears stores in Brooklyn, two in Queens and one in Staten Island.

Read more at Crains New York Business

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