Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sears to close Lawrence store

December 29, 2011, 1:46 p.m. Updated December 30, 2011, 12:18 a.m.


After 13 years in business, the full-line Sears store in Lawrence will close its doors.

The local store, at 2727 Iowa, is one of 79 Sears and Kmart stores across the country that Sears Holding Corp. slated for closure on Thursday. The announcement came two days after the company said a slow holiday season and other economic factors would force the closure of 100 to 120 stores across the country.

Kimberly Freely, spokeswoman for Sears Holding Corp., said the company closed stores in underperforming locations. The closing dates haven’t been set and would depend on liquidation needs, city regulations and lease dates.

Officials at the Lawrence Sears store wouldn’t comment.

On Thursday evening, the parking lot in front of Sears had about a dozen cars and customers were still filtering in and out.

Tracy Ewy had come from Eudora to shop for appliances and was disappointed to hear the store was closing.

“I don’t shop here a lot. But it’s nice having choices for appliances. There are not a lot of options in Lawrence,” she said.

The Lawrence store is the only one in Kansas selected to close. Another Sears store in Lee’s Summit, Mo., was on the list. No Kmarts in the region were selected.

As for the employees, Freely said those who qualify would be offered severance packages. And, closer to the closing date, workers will be notified of job openings in nearby Sears and Kmart stores, although they would have to apply for those jobs.

Sears, in one form or another, has a lengthy history in Lawrence.

In 1965, a Sears catalog store moved from 13 E. Ninth St. to a new 10,000-square-foot store at the Hillcrest Shopping Center at Ninth and Iowa. In 1993, that store closed along with 100 other Sears catalog and small retail stores.

A year later, a new Sears appliance, electronics and lawn and garden store opened at 2108 W. 27th St. That store closed when the full-line Sears opened in 1998 at its current location.

The 60,000-square-foot building, which is leased by Sears, once housed the city’s first Walmart and later a Half-Price Store. Six years after it opened, the store underwent a $405,000 remodel.

Kelly Whitehouse, who visits the Lawrence store six to eight times a year, wasn’t happy with the news.

“We use it for tools and appliances. It’s a convenience. That is the bad thing,” Whitehouse said.

Thursday evening was probably the first time Jerree Catlin had visited the store in Lawrence. She was with her husband searching for a Nordic Track.

“Still, I hate to see anything like this move out of town,” Catlin said.

Even those who were sad to see it go said they weren’t surprised by the news, commenting that the store often doesn’t appear to be busy.

“When I come here there are not always a lot of cars,” Ewy said.


anonyname 6 years, 4 months ago

...if you can find anything worth buying. Good luck.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 5 months ago

No surprise here, that store is usually pretty empty.

pizzapete 6 years, 4 months ago

Well 13 years ago downtown already was an entertainment district full of bars, resaurants, and second hand stores. He would have nailed it if he said there would be highrise apartments and nowhere to park.

Lenette Hamm 6 years, 5 months ago

Too bad - I like Sears and shop there often. But as it was already pointed out, the place is a ghost town most of the time... Sorry to hear they'll be closing, mostly because of the folks who work there. Tough times to be looking for a job.

TikiLee 6 years, 5 months ago

Bummer. I always buy appliances from Sears, I have forever. Now I guess I'll do it online, or go to the one in Ottawa.

Kansashawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Or u could shop at a locally owned store?

Curtis Lange 6 years, 4 months ago

The Sears in Ottawa is a joke. Bought a grill there last year since it was in stock there but not the Lawrence store (go figure). There was an hour or so until they closed and the guy didn't want to get it for me because 'we close soon and it is buried back there.' Definitely one of the worst customer service experiences I've ever had anywhere.

Beth Bird 6 years, 4 months ago

I live in Ottawa and will never again buy something from the Sears here after a similar experience. We bought a VERY expensive fridge after mine died....I paid cash at 4:45 PM and was told they would deliver for free. When I asked what time to expect them with my fridge, he told me that they would charge $50.00 to take it to my house, which was literally less than 10 blocks away. I told them no and my husband would come with the truck and get it. At 4:50, he told me if my husband didn't show up in the next 5 minutes, they were closing and I could wait until Monday for my fridge. If I hadn't already paid for the damn thing, I would of told him to kiss it and bought my fridge somewhere else. They were rude and downright disrespectful. I haven't been back.

BruceWayne 6 years, 5 months ago

It is also sad that there will be another empty building in town. Speaking of, does anyone know what happened to Waterfront on east 23rd? Went out there last night to get a spa filter and it is gone. The building and parking lot empty, and the sign is gone.

roggy 6 years, 5 months ago

Waterfront moved to Wakarusa St. but I don't know the new address.

Christopher Taylor 6 years, 4 months ago

As stated previously, Waterfront moved to Wakarusa between Clinton Nursery and the car wash. The address is 4910 Wakarusa Ct., Ste C.

otto 6 years, 5 months ago

They are moving -- they are in the process of building out a space off of Wakarusa drive. It is between Clinton parkway nursery and the car wash to the north. Sorry don't have the exact address right now. They should be open in 1 to 2 weeks is what they told me. Call them - they are still trying to do service and parts.

CLARKKENT 6 years, 4 months ago


DRsmith 6 years, 5 months ago

Too bad. Sears in Lawrence probably would have survived if it were in a mall.

50YearResident 6 years, 4 months ago

You are right. The location killed them and Penneys will be next. It is the fault of the Lawrence planning commission. The planners vetoed a southern mall just south of the south trafficway and on the east side of 59 Hy.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 4 months ago

Look what has happened to downtown Topeka since Westridge Mall and the rest of that mess on Wanamaker. Growing up there, downtown was like ours is now.

littlexav 6 years, 4 months ago

White Lakes in Topeka... freaking ghost town.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 4 months ago

The building is not up to fire code requirements. That was why the DMV had to move out. And after Wilson signed a 5 year extension. What an idiot he was.

Brian Hall 6 years, 4 months ago

Um, Riverfront and Tanger. Lawrence had malls--not traditional malls like Oak Park or Westridge--and they failed miserably and are now sitting mostly empty in good locations (Downtown and near an I-70 exit). I think Sears would've done better if was located further south on Iowa or in a strip mall location like Bed, Bath & Beyond/TJ Maxx/Michaels/World Market.

I typically see more cars in Penny's parking lot in one day than Sears parking lot in a full week. I actually know people who shop at Penny's but no one who shops at Sears.

Bill Lee 6 years, 4 months ago

Malls are dying all across the country as they have become crime centers and places for kids to hang out. Few, if any, major retailers are interested in being in a mall. Sorry you didn't get the memo.

The only malls being build now are the giant mega-malls like the Great Mall of the Great Plains, and Lawrence isn't big enough to support something like that.

What will kill the big box stores on south Iowa Street is online shopping. Everything's in stock, and they deliver.

Beth Bird 6 years, 4 months ago

The "Great" Mall is empty...and it sucks! The only thing that they have been able to keep is Group USA, which would probably thrive in a stand alone location. Like above posters have mentioned, kids with too much time and no supervision hang out there....Not a good combination.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 4 months ago

If only we could all run among the "inside circles". Such Dickensian street urchins, we are.

richard904 6 years, 4 months ago

Olive Garden and Red Lobster serve a real purpose in the mid-west. Look at the parking lot of the Olive Garden at 119th Street and Black Bob in Overland Park. It is busy and the food (mid-level Italian) is acceptable to a wide demographic. Where do you get decent fish dishes in this area? You can get fresh New England lobsters. What can anyone do to steamed lobster? I would guess if Olive Garden and/or Red Lobster come to the Lawrence area, there is more than sufficient demographics to indicate that they would do well. These chains fit in when there is absolutely nothing decent in Italian or fish restaurants, and they will get customers. Their business offices have the MBA's that can crunch the numbers and give good probabilities on customer base.

peartree 6 years, 4 months ago

Darn it! I hate it when news organizations let "fact checking" get in the way of publishing rumors. You could start your own blog if you are well-connected in Larryville. You could be the Lawrence's Perez Hilton! :)

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Kmart, founded as S.S. Kresge in Detroit in 1899, has long been strong in clothing and home accessories, and in recent years has added brands such as Thalia Sodi, Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer and Martha Stewart Everyday products.

Sears, which started selling watches through catalogs in 1886, later became best known for its Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances.

"with the goal of converting their customer experience into a world-class integrated retail experience.”

Sounds like BS to me...because

"Here’s the long and the short of it as we see it – the acquisition will work for the deal-makers in the short term. Lambert especially stands to make a lot of money by squeezing costs from the joint company. And yet more money by converting and selling stores. And yet more money by moving Kmart brands to Sears stores.

But don’t count on the company prospering in the long term. For Lambert isn’t an operating guy. He’s not about to solve the systemic problem causing declining sales in both Kmart and Sears stores. He’s not about to do battle. He’s not about to find a solution to shoppers’ confusion about the meaning of both brands – Kmart and Sears."

Curtis Lange 6 years, 5 months ago

That 'confusion' is one reason a lot of the Sears Grand stores were/are being converted back to Kmart stores. People had no idea what the store it a Sears store or a Kmart store?

To the poster asking about the Kmart Distribution Center: I don't see it going anywhere in the near future.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago


Stoneback's ( Next door to The Merc) 925 Iowa St # A Lawrence (785) 843-4170

Craftsman Tools: Westlake Hardware

Kenmore Appliances - Sears Metcalf
Then again mergers and acqusitions took the Maytag name to the dump. The same could happen to the Kenmore name.

KS 6 years, 4 months ago

Merrill - You know where the Sears store is in Johnson County? OMG!

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 5 months ago

It might be interesting to see what the stance is on the K-Mart distribution center now that the company has no other presence in town.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

It distributes to stores across a wide region, not just Lawrence. As long as they still need that amount of distribution, it likely will have no effect on that center.

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 5 months ago

I realize that, but there was some clamor a couple of years back about closing this center.

For the people that work there, I hope you are right.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 4 months ago

No need to worry Wil. KM and Sears are two of the big "job creators" right?

Piggles 6 years, 5 months ago

Guess will have to go to Topeka and KC to do my shopping.... nothing here in Lawrence no more. No K-Marts and now no Sears? Walmarts sucks, Target has nothing... Penney's ok but can find MORE stuff and variety in Topeka and KC. ANd then city people wonder why no shopping in Lawrence??? Why? There's NOTHING......

parrothead8 6 years, 4 months ago can find MORE stuff and variety in bigger towns? No way!

William McCauley 6 years, 4 months ago

(quote) Lawrence is being run by the staff at City Hall instead of the Commissioners taking charge. Lawrence needs a good CEO and a new Board of Directors to kick some b&&%^tt at City Hall and clean house. The staff works for the taxpayers, not what is going on now. (quote)

That is the truth! And that is the main reason why someone like me, who wishes to open a business here has had to resort to calling the fed's in to enforce the federal laws because the city hall staff operates just like your talking about and the commissioners can't be bothered to do their own research or read the federal statutes to fully understand where the problem is with the advice they are being given to them by not only city staff by hired consultants as well.

08Champs 6 years, 4 months ago

Steinmart would be great in that space -

08Champs 6 years, 4 months ago

Obviously I"ve been to one or I wouldn't have suggested it.... joke of a comment actually.

Joe Blackford II 6 years, 4 months ago

Former Manhattan Mayor Bruce Snerd, at the City Commission's passing of the NBAF plat, Sept. 2011:

"There are reasons people choose Manhattan over Topeka & Lawrence."

I thought he meant folks having a death wish; it seems now that Sears, KMart & Hastings are instead the big draw . . .

greenworld 6 years, 4 months ago

Sears needed to close. Everytime we were in there , there warranties that they quote are 5-10 times more than any other place and I hardly ever got waited on. Thats no good and bad customer service. Within the last 1-5 years we have bought a brand new dishwasher and washer and dryer and went to Neb Furn Mart. Sorry Sears but you guys got played

Deb Stavin 6 years, 4 months ago

I buy appliances at Stoneback Appliances here in Lawrence.

Bob Forer 6 years, 4 months ago

Ditto. They sell quality stuff, are competitive with the chains, will give you a better price than listed if you ask, employ all local folks, and are locally owned and operated. Buy a Kenmore and your money is out of town before you walk out the door. And by the way, Stonebacks is not going anywhere anytime soon. They have a loyal customer base and survive with repeat customers and volume sales. I can't imagine why anyone would go elsewhere for an appliance unless its a high dollar speciality item which they don't stock.

WilburM 6 years, 4 months ago

Likewise. Thirty years of first-class service from Stoneback's. Fair (even good) prices, service, and locally owned. I'm a big fan.

IgnorantYokel 6 years, 4 months ago

In the Internet age, box retail stores are merely showrooms for online shoppers who can buy the item for cheaper (often with free shipping and no sales tax).

Steve Jacob 6 years, 4 months ago

Office Depot is next. Stock dropped 60% this year and 94% from it's all time high five years ago.

average 6 years, 4 months ago

There is actually one read on this that isn't quite as sackcloth and ashes. In part, the hedge-fund twerps running things are trying to extract value via targeted property sales.

The Lawrence store looks (not for sure) like it might be held by a Sears property trust. While the two Topeka ghost-town Kmarts are not (leased).

If the Lawrence location looks more salable/leasable than properties in regions far more blighted with overbuilt retail vacancies (and that's most of the country, honestly), it may have played into the equation to close this location. Mind you, if they were doing gangbuster business, they wouldn't close, but on the line it might have been a factor.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

Too much retail for a small town to support. Why the Chamber of Commerce believes or ever believed that people would drive from everywhere to shop Lawrence is astounding. Lawrence,Kansas has been surrounded by retail shopping forever within a reasonable distance.

The answers and perhaps the rule of thumb would have been in retail impact studies and a Cost of Community Services Study. For some reason these Chamber thinkers always think they just know something as yet the community is still in the dark.

Retail failures in the form of Riverfront Plaza, Tanger Mall and 6th and Waakrusa should have sent red flags up all over the town instead city hall and tunnel vision kept following the Chamber vision of helter skelter aimless growth at any cost to the taxpayers which has produced economic displacement NOT economic growth.

Not even national giants can withstand economic displacement for years and years. Talbots left town as well. Borders is gone. Old Navy is gone.

roadwarrior 6 years, 4 months ago

I heartily agree with that statement. In addition...this endless raising of taxes which gives even less disposable income to supporting our retail community........and for what ? a library face lift and garage ??? It is astounding to would think amid this massive exodus of retail business amid so much empty real estate that someone might be saying...we have a problem with our focus.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 4 months ago

I have said it time and again. We are buying cheap Chinese crap, you know, the sutff you use for a few days and throw away. We are selling the country to the Chinese and putting ourselves over a barrel. Soon, we will be looking down the barrel with the ChiComs holding the trigger. I hope I am not around when the order comes down from Bejing for all former Americans to learn Mandarin.

Ockhams_Razor 6 years, 4 months ago

They won't hold the trigger, they will hold the mortgage. We borrow $250 billion per year from them, nearly a billion dollar per working day.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 4 months ago

And it is our own US dollars we are borrowing back too right? Maybe they should just open up their own Federal Reserve Bank and do all the printing too. Or perhaps they are already. I am sure their secret printing technology is just as sophisticated as any other country including the US. I knew that Confucius stuff was prophetic!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

Food for thought:

There is one consequence of helter skelter aimless growth that usually goes unmentioned by the local media,city hall and elected officials - local profiteers are draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.

NOT necessary city growth is the result of over several decades of subsidies paid for by the local taxpayer. These range from the obvious to the obscure and include big projects-like the billions we spend on new roads as well as smaller ones-like the tax-breaks that encourage businesses to move to the edge of town and KILL downtown.

We've subsidized local profiteers at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe the status quo is actually fair and neutral. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of local profiteers driving development.

How we subsidize profiteers:

  • building new and wider roads
  • building schools on the fringe
  • extending sewer and water lines to not necessary development
  • extending emergency services to the fringe
  • direct pay-outs to developers - for example developers of the new building at 9th and New Hampshire have taxpayers furnishing their tenants with parking spaces built with our tax dollars.

and David Cay Johnston then boggled the crowd with a blunt assertion: "We pay billions of dollars in taxes that never get to the government." Much of the sales tax we pay at big box stores and shopping centers is diverted to the large companies that own the stores. It's just one of the many swindles these chains have learned to perpetrate against city and county governments. This is so effective. "

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

A habit obscene and unsavory Holds David Cay Johnson in slavery With lecherous hows He devours young owls That he keeps in an underground aviary

LogicMan 6 years, 4 months ago

What does the distribution center do with its scratch and dent, overstock, etc. stuff? Would converting this Sears into a K-Mart + Sears outlet center make sense? It's rent might be too high though.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 4 months ago

The Wall Street Journal said that some powers that be in the financial world are not impressed with the move to close 120 stores.

Which could mean the whole K-Mart/Sears merger deal is on the way down the tubes...

anonyname 6 years, 4 months ago

The merger was finalized a LONG time ago, Merrill.

KS 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, and if I remember correctly, K-Mart bought Sears, not too long afetr K-Mart had declared bankruptcy. Go figure!

patkindle 6 years, 4 months ago

Most Lawrence folks are too smart or too cool to shop at sears (or any other local store)

It is a lot smarter and cooler to drive 30 or 50 miles, make all of Your purchases at a much lower prices

Plus get get to eat out, and are able to brag to your buddies about Your purchases

Our old home town used to have 3 new car dealerships Now they have none

The same folks that used to brag about driving out of town To buy their cars because of the money they saved. Are now whining about no place to get their car worked on

That’s the way it has always been That’s the way it will always be

FlintlockRifle 6 years, 4 months ago

Gosh when did Sears move from east 9th street?? Yes going to miss this store, like one of above posts never crowded and easy finding a parking space, plus in summer months you could go to the fruit and vegy tent

Margie Hackett 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe the city could find another apartment complex to go into the Sears building,

50YearResident 6 years, 4 months ago

History of Lawrence businesses that couldn't make it in Lawrence. 1) Riverfront Mall 2) North Lawrence Mall 3) FW Woolworth 4) Gibsons 5) Montgomery Wards 6) KMart 7) Sears 8) Johnson Furniture 9) Miller Furniture 10) Bud Jennings Carpet Many others I can't name at this time without some research.

Bob Forer 6 years, 4 months ago

Some of the stores you mention lasted a long time, and as far as the chains, they also went out of business in many other cities. What's your point?

Ockhams_Razor 6 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 4 months ago

32)Cholera 33) Typhoid 34) Yellow Fever

Ockhams_Razor 6 years, 4 months ago

Campus Hideaway Mass Street Deli Sutherlands Lumber

MarcoPogo 6 years, 4 months ago

And yet, somehow the Barrel House continues to hang on...

Bob Forer 6 years, 4 months ago

I haven't had anything to do with Sears since i was thirteen years old and enjoyed looking at the catalog pictures of women in underwear.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 4 months ago

It wasn't hard to anticipate Sears' closure. Did anyone else notice that Ace Hardware is carrying Crafstman tools? I hope that works.

jackpot 6 years, 4 months ago

Take the broken tool to Sears in Topeka or O.P. for replacements.

Joe Berns 6 years, 4 months ago

WRONG. The warranty is through craftsman, not SEARS. I've already replaced a 1/4 inch ratchet at Westlake and had no problems doing it.

Westlake will warranty nearly all craftsman hand tools through Craftsman with the lifetime warranty.

Grump 6 years, 4 months ago

Sears will probably hit up Lawrence government for some tax incentives to stay.

LogicMan 6 years, 4 months ago

Andini -- you must not have been here when it was open. That store was swamped with shoppers. The traffic in and out was awful. They built the new store on Iowa to help solve those problems. It's doing OK too, if you haven't been there lately.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 4 months ago

That was back when the entire area was not surrounded by crack world and criminals.

greenworld 6 years, 4 months ago

Could turn it into another Pricilla's and it would get tons of business. It used to be a walmart years ago. Maybe make it another or if nothing better than a casino in town. That would take the tree hugging city commission to long to discuss the better options...kind of like the empty buildings up off 27th and Iowa on the Northeast side of the street that have been there the last 15-20 years just sitting.

greenworld 6 years, 4 months ago

i dont know but what a better location for a Golden Correl than the old empty chinese place at 27th and iowa. Sounds good to me. Bring it and build it and they will come.

CharlesinCharge 6 years, 4 months ago

It was a steakhouse at one time. I believe it was a Western Sizzlin Steakhouse, but not sure if that is the correct chain.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe some of you aniti growth geeters take a short drive to Manhattan a city of 52 K. I did today, and you would be amazed at the growth and building activity.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree, but its also apples to oranges. Lawrence is surrounded by two Metropolitan areas while Manhattan is the largest city for miiiiiiiiiles out there.

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

Manhattan is also close to Ft. Riley, which as I recall, got bigger in the last few years.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

It's called growth and planning. The size of Ft. Riley was and is not an accident. The fact K-State coupled with private business lured research investment is not by accident.

Simply stunned by the changes in Wamego and area too.

kujhawkfan 6 years, 4 months ago

For those wondering about the Kmart Distribution Center, it has never serviced full-line Sears stores. It has serviced about a half dozen Sears Grand stores, but currently only services one. Out of the 38 Kmart stores listed that are closing, zero are fully serviced by the Lawrence DC. However, the Lawrence DC is also a National Specialty Center and does ship certain items to each of the Kmart DC's across the country and from there each distribution center ships the products to the stores they service. Sears Holdings is expected to announce another 20-40 store closings soon.

LogicMan 6 years, 4 months ago

So any chance our current Sears would be converted to a K-Mart? And hopefully also serve as a "ship-to-store" site for Sears' appliances, tools, etc.?

If you are connected, please suggest such to your CEO!

kujhawkfan 6 years, 4 months ago

No, I don't believe Kmart will ever be back. With 1 Target and 2 Wal-Mart locations in Lawrence, there is no need for Kmart to return. No doubt this will be inconvenient for those shopping for a full-line of Craftsman, Kenmore, and DieHard products. However, with Topeka only 20 miles to the west and Overland Park 35 miles to the east, there are options to still pick up items at both Kmart and Sears or have them delivered to your home in Lawrence. For those not wanting to leave town, you can order directly from or

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 4 months ago

Our Sears is the ONLY one in the state that is closing, what's up with that?

CLARKKENT 6 years, 4 months ago


skinny 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe they'll put in a K-Mart in it's place!

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

Our Sears is the ONLY one in the state that is closing...............

When is this community going to wake up and realize we need sales tax revenues. Yesterday at 3 in the afternoon the Olive Garden parking lot in Manhattan was filled.

Contrast this with the empty decaying parking lot of the Plum Garden. Borders, Old Navy, Sears, North Lawrence........the list grows

From what I saw in Manhattan there is room for another Olive Garden on the N.W. side of town, a separate booming shopping area in a town of 52K. Two shopping areas plus Aggieville, and a downtown to boot.

My wife and I quit counting all the new building going on.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

Also for all of you thinking we have all we need here, try selling future retirees thinking of relocating we have no major stores here like Sears and Lowes. Or, show them our tiny Walmart. Lil Wally.

Or, better yet tell these folks we believe in high personal taxes and actually fight companies trying to spend money here.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm waiting for a snobby Olive Garden comment. Should be coming soon.

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 4 months ago

Exit Sears ~ Enter Big Lot, Gordman's, or Burlington Coat Factory!!!

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 4 months ago

Gordman's (used to be called The Half-Price Store) was in that building just before Sears took it over.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 4 months ago

Gordman's (used to be called The Half-Price Store) was in this building just before Sears moved in.

seagull 6 years, 4 months ago

Sad to see Sears go but not surprised. It's lack of success seems partly a corporate strategy problem--why go there to buy clothes or bedding--and lack of good service at the local level. I'd love to by Kenmore appliances. They always get good ratings and there's something very American about the Kenmore name (even if the appliances are really made by someone else). But have you even tried to get any solid information from a sales person? I was in there the other day looking at ranges. I must have been there for 15 minutes before a person came up behind me and yelled--"Can I help you" and then left. They had a much better selection of appliances than even Factory Direct. Even if I had asked some questions, I doubt I would have gotten any good, helpful information. They don't price match on their non-Kenmore brands.

More importantly, it seems, is what Sears' closing says about Lawrence as a thriving community able to support retail. The idea that a mall would have solved (or would solve) the problem is crazy. We'd just have a big mall with depressingly empty spaces. How many stores have closed in Lawrence in the last few years? Instead of constantly berating KU, Dolph ought to make the city the focus of his Saturday columns. It seems that the city, one of the big drawing points for students at KU, is need of a real wake-up call. It can no longer rest on its self-perceptions of itself as a Kansas mecca. Have you been to Manhattan lately? Of course, Kansas City is not 40 minutes away.

We also need to support stores in Lawrence if we want choices.

purplesage 6 years, 4 months ago

600,000 square feet? An acre is something like 43,000 square feet. I think it has been inflated by a zero.

ChristineMetz 6 years, 4 months ago

You're right. I added an extra zero. Thanks for the catch. And, we've fixed it. Sorry for the mistake.

lunacydetector 6 years, 4 months ago

i think it's closer to the 85,000 square feet size.

ChristineMetz 6 years, 4 months ago

I pulled the 60.000 number from stories we had written just before the store opened in 1998. I don't believe they have expanded since then (remodeled, yes, but not expanded). But I could be wrong.

Matt Cox 6 years, 4 months ago

Yeah the store looks just over 60,000 sq ft.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 4 months ago

The Pretentious Cow. Now there is a former business I haven't thought about for quite a while. I wonder why?

Woof, woof.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 4 months ago

Well named, considering who owned it. Heh, heh, heh....

irvan moore 6 years, 4 months ago

lawrence is going to hell in a handbasket, no k mart, no sears, no trailer park, geez

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

any full line sporting goods store...... Lil Wally and Walldork South are the only places to buy fishing equipment.

JustNoticed 6 years, 4 months ago

Without an apostrophe, that means "penises showing things off".

Joe Berns 6 years, 4 months ago

How about a dollar theater? Oh wait, the dollar theater is now $2.50 and the movies have been available on netflix for 6 months.


Joe Berns 6 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, thinly veiled attempt at humor since the dollar store is now $1.25. I meant to imply that things are not like they used to be.

LogicMan 6 years, 4 months ago

And the "dollar" is quite a bit higher than the prior name for these stores: "five and dimes".

Chris Ogle 6 years, 4 months ago

Good spot for a mini wally-world with one check out lane. Just think, they could claim that all check out lanes are always open.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

OneeyeW....even has rules for closings, sales, permits no less.......... Another example of not being business got it right.

Before moving here 20 years ago thought my buddies telling me about the anti business, smooch my fellow commissioner was exaggeration. Changed my mind. Heard far too many stories from young and old business people regarding regulation, special use areas, and the worst, we are so special we need nothing.

Met an old man (Granddads?) who used to travel around the Midwest towing his BBQ set-up. He told me the city always made it too difficult to start a storefront location. Made me almost come to tears hearing all the nonsense they through at him. He claimed the city felt they didn't need his joint.

Which is an attitude which used to be exuded by Lawrencians. Well folks, we have blight, we have unreported crime, a university declining in enrollment, stalled growth, no jobs, and worse of all our neighbors are stepping on our necks. Match over, game

Wife suggested we get a weekend hotel room and do Christmas shopping in Manhattan next year. Not a bad idea.

Next time a KU blowhard claims to know about city growth get the tar and feathers and run he or she out of town.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 4 months ago

The issue has nothing to do with anti business. It is possible to develop without asking for variances. Scaling back an extreme proposal to a not-so-extreme proposal does not make a development ok. In most municipalities the codes are more consistently enforced, and consequently, there is less strife between developers and residents. I contend that we have a community issue (lack of consistency) rather than a neighborhood issue.

IrishCat 6 years, 4 months ago

As mentioned earlier in the comments, one reason for the Sears store showing poor profits is clearly from bad customer service. I was there a few weeks ago and had what was probably the worst customer service I have ever had. I came in to buy a dryer, actually ready to buy one, not just browse. I waited probably 15 minutes for someone to wait on me, finally had to go find a salesperson myself, who by the way knew nothing about dryers and tried to sell me a "new" dryer that had a tag on it that said "used" and had strap marks on the top of it. To add to that, right in the middle of discussion about a purchase, he told me he was told he had to go to dinner. He told me that I was going to be helped by someone else. Well, that person never came either. I waited some more..finally I went looking for yet another salesperson and found one sitting at a desk scratching his man-stuff like he was digging for gold. As I approached him, I coughed so he would know I was getting closer and stop, but he looked right up at me and continued to dig..seriously...he too knew virtually nothing about dryers, and while still watching him scratch, I walked out of the store thoroughly disgusted. I'm no girlie girl, but seriously...take a shower or spray yourself with something! Anyway, I vowed to never go back there because of that experience and now it appears I don't have to..

IrishCat 6 years, 4 months ago

In light of my earlier negative comment about Sears, I did want to mention something positive about this south end of town. I live in the south end of town and a few nights before Christmas, my family and I went out to finish up a few odds and ends for Christmas. We went to PetCo for pet food and toys, we went to WalMart for some stocking stuffers and misc. items, we went to Pier 1 for some gifts for extended family members and ended up eating at Chili's..All within about a six block area, totally happy with the service, the amount of driving or lack there of that I had to do, and it made for a great holiday evening with my family. It was nice not to have to drive all over town or to KC for the smaller things that I needed.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 4 months ago

With the ultra unique national and international economic situation we should demand more action from our elected officials.

KU, City of Lawrence, HoboInn, USD497, SRS, and all the other tax based work is just that. Tax based, it sucks revenue. Without sales taxes the home owner is target one.

Are we actively job one, put the work gloves on, pack me a lunch mamma gonna be late, put some shoulder into it, clear the table and start over, weeping, begging, get er done, put some sweat into it...........solve the horrid problem business (sales tax bucks) leaving our community?

Or, are we more interested in the curtains for our new library? Pretty soon the Q-Trip on Iowa is going to be our largest private employer.

The time is yesterday for action!

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