Listen Live

MUNCIE, Ind. — Now that Sears has announced it is closing three of its Indiana stores, an economics professor believes the closures will have a bigger impact on Muncie than in Castleton and Lafayette.

“For Castleton and Lafayette it shouldn’t be much of a problem.  Both of those [cities&#93 are growing and I think the loss of Sears represents a shift in consumer patterns that will be replaced by some other retailer in those locations,” says Dr. Mike Hicks, the George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of economics and the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.

“For Muncie, which is in decline, I think it’s a bit more problematic.  And it comes on the heals of closure of other stores in that mall, so I think that put the mall and retail on the east side of Muncie in some peril,” according to Dr. Hicks.

The company says the stores will likely close in early September. The Sears Auto Centers at each location will close in late July.

Sears Holdings initially said it would close 72 stores, but that number has been reduced to 48.

The company said it lost $424 million in the first quarter of 2018 and revenue fell more than 30 percent. 

Dr. Hicks believes Sears will eventually close all its stores and will become a memory, like Marsh Supermarkets and H.H. Gregg.

“[Sears is&#93 held by the same holding company as K-mart.  I suspect both of these retailers are headed for the dustbin of history.”


Photo: Getty Images / Scott Olson