Sears Closing Stores
No Word If Alaska Stores Will Stay Open
An announcement from Sears could leave a hole in the retail scene.
"I've been going to Sears since I was a kid," said David Morrow, standing in front of one of Anchorage's oldest department stores. "They have good soft goods, appliances, tools, I really like shopping there."
After Sears Holding Company announced it would be closing more than 100 stores nationwide, he might not have the chance to anymore.
The move comes in response to a nearly six percent dip in sales nationwide last quarter, and state economist Neil Fried said he's not surprised. Besides an influx of new retailers in Anchorage over the past few years, Fried said places like the Kenai Peninsula and the Mat-Su Valley are seeing a sharp increase in retail employment.
"Their retail has grown by a thousand at the same time that the retail in Anchorage is not growing at all," Fried said.
But while Anchorage's retail employment levels have remained stagnant, stores like Wal-Mart and Target are giving consumers more options than ever before.
"What that means to me is, obviously we're splitting the pie up a little more," Fried said.
Shoppers cited everything from poor product selection to uncompetitive prices as reasons for spending their money elsewhere. While Sears Holding Co. has yet to release a list of stores slated for closure, Freid said it's all part of the retail circle of life.
Sears management did not respond to requests for comment on this story.