Pleasanton Sears staying open | January 6, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

- January 6, 2012

Pleasanton Sears staying open

Northern California stores not affected by downsizing

by Jeb Bing

News that retail giant Sears and Kmart will close 100 to 150 stores started the new year out on a sour note in the Tri-Valley after most retailers reported a bountiful Christmas shopping season.

Although the closings apparently won't affect the Sears store at Stoneridge Shopping Center or the older, somewhat dated store at Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord, the announcement by Sears Holdings Corp., which owns both Sears and Kmart, sent chills through communities. In Pleasanton, Sears is one of three major anchors at Stoneridge where it owns its building.

A list of Sears and Kmarts to be shuttered shows those closings are mostly concentrated in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. Three stores in California will be closed as part of the cost-cutting, but those in Northern California, including its aging Oakland store, are being spared for now. So, too, is the San Leandro Kmart. Oakland's Kmart shuttered during the company's last reshuffling, and a Kmart in Livermore was closed years ago.

Sears Holding announced the closures following a disastrous holiday shopping season. Even as crowds filled Stoneridge during much of December, Sears appeared to be much less busy.

But Barbara Farfan, writing in the Retail Industry Newsletter, says that while retailers would have preferred to bask in the glow of their record-breaking Christmas retail sales results a little longer before getting "yanked back to post-holiday reality" by the Sears Holdings announcement, the Sears- Kmart downsizings were not a surprise. Depending on how fast Sears Holding moves and the financial results realized, the company may actually be positioned for smoother sailing through 2012 and beyond.

That would be good news for Stoneridge and Sunvalley shopping centers.