Seven Florida Kmart And Sears Stores Closing As Retail Woes Linger

Four Kmart stores and three Sears stores in the Sunshine State will hold their last Black Friday sales this week. Parent company Transform Holdco is closing 96 stores across the country as the two retailers that once had thousands of department stores serving middle-class buyers struggle to survive in today’s retail landscape.

According to Transform Holdco., the affected stores will begin going out of business sales on December 2 and will close by February 2020. Most of the seven Florida stores are located in malls and shopping centers in Miami-Dade and Broward. The soon-to-be vacant spaces will likely force landlords to either break up the big spaces to lure in smaller tenants or create experiential retail opportunities given current retail real estate trends.

Landlords are replacing empty department stores with theaters, e-sports, and small-scale sports arenas attract consumers, according to Colliers International’s Q3 2019 South Florida retail report. They are also developing food halls, pop-ups, and rental stores for clothing, furniture, and electronics to lure shoppers. Some shopping center and mall owners have turned to non-retail tenants such as medical offices, and also considering adding apartments or some other mixed-use to their properties, the report states.

“Grocers and co-working companies along with schools and day cares are filling some spaces and despite the possible long-term consequences,” the report states. “Churches have been filling the space in the short-term.”

Overall, South Florida’s retail market is stable, the report noted. Vacancy rates hovered at 4.4% while rental rates increased almost 1.5% between Q2 and Q3 2019. The current average rent is $39.75 and developers added close to 600,000 square feet of new retail inventory.

In Q3, the largest lease was Regal Kendall Village IMAX & RPX’s renewal of 72,000 square feet at Kendall Village Center, a 500,000-square-foot retail, office and entertainment complex. The other anchor tenant is LA Fitness and the center has 159,000 square feet of office space, of which 100,000 square feet is leased to Nova Southeastern University.

Meanwhile, Target, a big box retailer that continues to do well, signed a lease for 50,000 square feet at Grove Central, a new transit-oriented, mixed-use project being developed at the Coconut Grove Metrorail station. Grove Central will encompass 135,000 square feet of retail space, 288 apartments, and a parking garage with 898 spaces.

The quarter also saw the historic sale of Walgreen’s flagship store on Miami Beach to New York-based Allied Partners for $33 million. It was the largest trade this quarter.

Here are the Kmart and Sears stores that Transform Co. is closing in Florida:

  • Kmart at Oakwood Plaza, 3800 Oakwood Blvd. in Hollywood.
  • Kmart at Central Shopping Plaza, 3825 NW Seventh St. in Miami.
  • Kmart at Beachway Plaza, 7350 Manatee Ave. West in Bradenton.
  • Kmart at Lantana Village Square, 1201 South Dixie Highway in Lantana.
  • Sears and Sears Auto Center at Southland Mall, 20701 SW 112th Ave. in Cutler Bay.
  • Sears at Westland Mall, 1625 West 49th St. in Hialeah.
  • Sears at Edison Mall, 4125 Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers.

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