Economic conditions help reduce impact from closing area Sears stores

Sears announced it will be close to the third location in this region – this time in Piqua – leaving three areas with empty retail spaces.

The Springfield Sears will be the only place left in the area when the store in the Miami Valley Center in Piqua is scheduled to close in February. The Dayton Mall store will close Nov. 25 and the Mall at the Fairfield Commons store in Beavercreek will close sometime in December.

The Sears closures as in the wake of Elder-Beerman closing its large department stores at the same malls in August.

While Sears Holdings, which has been closing stores for years, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late October. The company announced a total closure of 228 stores since this summer.

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While the closures will be the region of jobs, the current economy is helping to reduce the effects with low unemployment and increased consumer spending.

"It's a good job to open up right now, I'm sure those people should feel confident that they will be able to find a job," said Michael Lipsitz, an economics professor at Miami University's Fisher School of Business.

Sears do not transfer to other retailers in the Miami Valley, but instead move to online retailers, which would ultimately lead out of the region. That could be taxable without the money moving through local governments and fewer people spending while unemployed immediately after Sears closes, Lipsitz said.

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"He said." You might just think of it as a moving around of money rather than a loss in particular. "But it might look like a loss to Ohio."

But there is a benefit.

"There's some sense that Sears' business model was not working anymore," he said. "Hopefully that's being replaced by business models that are better for our community."

That business model could include a larger focus on e-commerce that is shaping the current retail landscape. Ideally, that new business model finds a way to employ locally, Lipsitz said.

It could also contain experiences, which is becoming common in outdoor and indoor shopping centers.

"(The Piqua Mall)" said Tim Echemann, principal with Industrial Property Brokers in Piqua.

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The Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek has been a success with the entertainment concept. But the Dayton is still working through plans to fill its space. The Elder-Beerman spaces at the three malls are also empty.

"Anticipating that this would happen, we've been working with some prospective tenants for quite a while actually. Sears troubles are well known, "said Bill Staebler, the director of retail development for Mid-America, the owner of the Miami Valley Center Mall.

Both the 100,000 square-foot Sears and the Elder-Beerman box at the Piqua mall, he said. Focus on holiday sales.

"These are tough times in retail, we all get that," Staebler said. "But we've owned the mall for 25 years and we're going to stick it out. We like the location, we like Piqua, we like the market. "

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He said Piqua is particularly attractive because of its hotel, parking and location visible from Interstate 75.

And Piqua is a thriving part of the state for a mall, said Tim Echemann, principal with Industrial Property Brokers in Piqua. It is the right distance from the day to day.

"The other thing that is really going in its favor is that the economy with the election and what's happened, we're not going to be so much better an opportunity for the space there. "


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