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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sears Downsizing Oakbrook Center Location With Remodeling Sale.


     The Oakbrook Center mall, in suburban Oakbrook, Illinois is a very large outdoor mall with several anchors and restaurants. Sears is a veteran anchor store as it has been open since the mall opened in the early 60's. Skip several decades and stop at 2017, where Sears as decided to still continue to operate the store, just make it smaller? Sears has began a "remodeling sale" which looks no different than a liquidating sale and plans to close the store in early September and remain closed while there extensively remodel and downsize the store to a third its current size and reopen within a year. How Sears has described the stores future., according to the Chicago Tribune, the store will carry about 30% of its current inventory, including lawn and garden, sporting goods, and appliances. Sounds like the store will just be converted to a hometown format. So the ground level and second level will be occupied by a new tenant and Sears will reopen in 2018 on the third level only near AMC.

     In March 2018, the Sears auto center will close permanently and the ground level and second floor or Sears will be converted to a children's entertainment business called KidZania. KidZania is a place set up with miniature buildings and businesses where kids can pretend they have jobs. This will be one of two in the US out of 24 worldwide, and expected to open in Oakbrook by 2019.





I like this shot, just seems so cluttered and all the red and yellow.



   
     Here is a sign I never seen before, Sears calling it a remodeling sale. Remodeling or liquidating is the same to Eddie Lambert because if the store was just remodeling, which it wouldn't have to because its Oakbrook Center, the store is very clean and beautiful. Marking down the entire stores merchandise doesn't make sense, just ship what will not be sold at this store somewhere else. That's just it, Sears doesn't want to hold onto the merchandise, there just getting rid of it at what ever lost it is to them and there suppliers. There suppliers are not being paid anyways, which is why I find closed mall stores like Delia's and Deb and the Sports Authority merchandise at Kmart, Sears at this point is buying close out crap from a warehouse now like Odd Lots did in the 90's.




Coming down the escalator. Seemed very busy, although it was a Sunday, no Sears anywhere is used to this many customers.


The very large auto center that will permanently close in a few months.


Thought a shot of the store at this angle capturing our countries flag over the Sears logo symbolizes where America used to shop. There still shopping here, only because they think there saving money with the "remodeling sale".

  
A car driving around the parking lot with the sign advertising the big sale. Sears Holdings has no idea what there companies image is as they always use the incorrect logo on all there liquidating signs.


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Wheres Waldo?...or Wards.


     A recent discovery than can be seen from space... or a few hundred feet on Google maps. A former Montgomery Ward store in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania has recently become a U-Haul truck center, so the Wards signs on the building are covered up. But the catch is a sign that was attached to the front of the building got detached from the weather or age of the screws as it fell off and landed face up on the awning. Seen below is the Wards sign and I viewed closer to the old store from aerial view, and the Wards sign becomes very clear. Also there are several screen shots of the store from street view.

Hard to see...


Coming into contrast...


Wards!!!



Here is the old store from the street, Google street view was from August 2016, a U-Haul truck center has since taken over the former Wards and covered all the signs up.







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Monday, July 17, 2017

Woodfield Mall: 7/2017 Updates and Major Changes.


     The dust has not yet settled as Woodfield Mall prepares to endure more renovations. Woodfield is the largest and most popular mall in the Chicago area, built in 1971, the nearly 50 year old mall continues to change. Renovations to the mall first began nearly three years ago as Level 257, a gaming venue opened in a portion of Sears in Spring 2015. The malls center court was refreshed to offer more seating and a more free flow design for easier shopping and customer flow. For the first time now, a food court will be added, but not to be called a food court. As plans to open by fall 2018, the new 820 seat Dining Pavilion will offer several local and regional dining options.

     Woodfield mall, unlike many typical malls, does not have a formal food court, as several eating choices all together in one area. For the last 20 years or more, McDonald's and A&W, plus several snack vendor's have been the only choice for eating, aside from full service restaurants like Rain Forest Cafe and P.F. Chang's. There is more than 30 snack and dining options found throughout the mall, and the dining pavilion will add over a dozen more.

Here is an article from the Daily Herald covering the multi-million dollar project of Woodfield's new dining pavilion.

When I visited the mall in May, Pink was still open, although Pink and Victoria's Secret are relocating to be next to each other in a different part of the mall.


The White Barn candle store also closed, as Bath & Body Works relocated to the upper deck from there recently opened store. Strange they already moved out, as both stores opened this year. If Pink and White Barn are closed, and Bachrach is closing, I predict something big is going to take this major portion of the wing.


Bachrach will be gone shortly as there up to 80% off.





Welcome to Woodfield Superdry.

I love to say that Superdry clothing is officially open, the Japanese clothing retailer, similar only to UNIQLO, provides some very unique options for all ages. Its a mix of athletic/physical wear and casual wear. Now Woodfield only needs UNIQLO and Primark and Bench next!




New Expansion... The Dining Pavilion.

     I took several shots of the Sears wing from both the ground floor and second floor, as this will be the location for the new dining pavilion. As this new source for dining is predicted to be complete in over a year, preparation began by relocating the current tenants of the space. O'Shoes and F.Y.E where relocated to other spots in the mall. O'Shoes was open already, as F.Y.E has not yet reopened in the former Ragstock store.

A photo I took of Sears in 2015 before the sculpture was taken down. To the far left corner, the O'Shoe's can be seen.

 

To the far left corner of the photo above, you can see Dunkin Donuts, above Dunkin was the F.Y.E.



     This will truly be spectacular once complete as it makes Woodfield just so much better to shop at and spend time with. From Simon's point of view, this is a tactic to keep the mall consumer's from leaving the mall to find elsewhere to eat. Basically keep people in the mall any way possible, malls need to adapt to consumer trends. I love to spend time at Woodfield, and I sure hope the pavilion will cause me to never leave.



I could not think of what restaurant was here, so glad I take so many pictures for quick reference.


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