sears_asheville_2015There’s lots of talk about big changes coming to the Asheville Mall (Tunnel Road), which is facing increased competition from the new Asheville Outlets mall (Brevard Road), set to open in May.

The big rumor floating around town is that Sears, which was an original anchor when the Asheville Mall opened in 1971, is closing, and that a new movie theater and restaurant will move in.

The Asheville Mall, which houses about 120 businesses, has seen a few updates in recent years. Last year, clothier H&M opened – the largest store to open in the mall since the Barnes and Noble book store opened there in 2009.

Last December, CNBC noted this in its story about Sears stores closing:

Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi said the retailer likely needs to close another 200-plus locations in 2015. As of Nov. 1, Sears had 1,050 Kmart locations in the U.S., and 781 domestic Sears stores. In its conference call, the retailer said that it owns about 700 of these locations.
Analysts have called out Sears’ strong real estate portfolio as its greatest opportunity. Not only does it have the ability to sell off a number of these locations, but because it’s held many of its leases for so many years, it has the flexibility to close many of its stores at a low cost, Tuhy said.

Last month, Sears said it is considering converting hundreds of its stores into a real estate investment trust (REIT) to boost its finances. If it were to go through with the plan, the retailer would own between 400 and 500 stores, and lease between 1,300 and 1,400 locations. It would continue to operate in the locations sold to the REIT, CFO Rob Schriesheim said.

We’ll see what happens.

A little more history about the Asheville Mall.

Image link for Sears.

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8 Comments

  1. We actually followed this rumor up with corporate and the store and found out the truth behind whether or not the store will actually close.

    http://bit.ly/1CHfGeE

  2. If Sears Holdings is to close additional stores, it would close a combination of Kmart and Sears stores. Low performing stores with expiring leases could be the first to close.

    I am not aware of Sears at Asheville Mall being a low performer.

    Three Kmart stores on South Tunnel Road and Hendersonville Road in Asheville and Blue Ridge Mall in Hendersonville have closed. I do not know how Kmart stores on Patton Avenue and Brevard Road are doing.

  3. I hardly ever go to Asheville Mall, but I go to the movies at least monthly, often weekly, so a movie theatre would be a good move. My fondest memories of malls during my childhood and teen years was making rounds of the mall before or after seeing a show.

  4. Thank you, Baby Jesus.

  5. It does not seem that this article “controlling” any rumors, merely repeating (and thus further spreading) them

  6. RobotDanceMonkey1975 says:

    Great. Gotta find a new mower shop. :/

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