In a reversal of announcements made earlier this year, Sears revealed today that it will not pull out of its location in Provo’s Towne Center Mall. According to my colleague Genelle Pugmire, the decision was made in response to significant public opposition to the planned closure.
The story is still unfolding as I write this, so continue to check back here and in Genelle’s story for more details.
Earlier this year, I wrote that the Sears closure may actually be a blessing in disguise. Aside from the fact that the store seems like a disaster whenever I wander inside, the company is deeply troubled — see previous posts here, here and here — as are malls themselves. My feeling was that Utah County could cut its losses by consolidating its two dying malls.
Given this new announcement, that’s apparently not going to happen anytime soon. And if Sears’ Provo location remains profitable, it’s possible that short-term change isn’t absolutely necessary.
But long-term prospects for both Sears and malls are grim, meaning civic and business leaders may still want to have an exit strategy in the works.