I'm still trying to wrap my head around this news, two stores that were institutions in this country for decades, are very close to closing their doors for good nationwide.

Sears and Kmart are literally on a retail respirator.

As Dakota News Now reports, retail experts have predicted this year's Black Friday could very well be the last Black Friday for both iconic brands.

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There are just a handful of Sears and Kmart stores left in the country. 21 full-line Sears stores still exist in the mainland to be exact, and only a total of 6 Kmart stores remain operational in the U.S.

There was a time not that long ago, that both these iconic brands were fixtures in the retail shopping scene here in Sioux Falls and across the entire country.

Karla Brown/Townsquare Media
Karla Brown/Townsquare Media
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The first Kmart arrived in Sioux Falls in 1963...

In what is now the Hy-Vee Store on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls. This particular Kmart location was operational all the way up to 2006. The store lost its lease that year and eventually closed. The building ended up being demolished and was replaced with the current Hy-Vee store at 3000 South Minnesota Avenue.

Kmart closed up shop for good in Sioux Falls in the spring of 2017 when it shut down its last remaining store in the Sioux Empire at 3020 West 12th Street.

Just a little over one year later...

Another legendary shopping brand announced that it too would be leaving town as well. The Sears store in the Empire Mall made the announcement that it would be closing its doors for good on (September 2) 2018.

Three years later, and that retail space inside the Empire Mall still sits vacant.

 

Sears had been in the Sioux Empire since 1929 when it opened its first South Dakota store in downtown Sioux Falls on North Phillips Avenue.

Several years later, in 1961, Sears made the move from downtown Sioux Falls to a new location at 811 East 10th Street in the original Howard Wood Field location at the base of the East 10th Street bridge. The retailer remained in that spot until it opened an anchor store in the  Empire Mall in 1988.

It seems like just yesterday I can remember hearing the K-Mart PA announcer alerting shoppers of the blue light specials inside the store. And who doesn't remember the Sears catalog? As a kid, I remember it being a big deal around my house when the card arrived in my parent's mailbox notifying us that the new Sears catalog was ready to be picked up.

Many a Christmas wish list was derived from the Sears and the JC Penny catalogs when I was younger.

If the predictions from retail experts are correct, both these storied department stores could be completely out of business nationwide by this time next year.

Definitely the end of an era! Makes me sad.

Source: Dakota News Now

TRENDING FROM RESULTS-TOWNSQUARE SIOUX FALLS:

Sioux Falls: Then and Now

The City of Sioux Falls has changed dramatically over the past several years. Some of the streets, landscapes, and neighborhoods look vastly different than just 10-15 years ago.

Here's a look at Sioux Falls, then-and-now. See if you can recognize some of these old buildings, businesses, and city streets.

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