Retail churn includes Sears closing

The Sears store at Burnsville Center will close. (File photo)

Gordmans, Hobby Lobby coming

There’s a triple play of news along Burnsville’s County Road 42 retail corridor.

At Burnsville Center, the Sears store will close and the recently closed Gordmans store will reopen, according to Skip Nienhaus, the city’s economic development coordinator.

And Hobby Lobby will open Aug. 7 in the Burnhill Plaza Shopping Center, Nienhaus said.

The Sears closing is part of another wave of closings for the troubled retailer. Sears Holdings disclosed it is shutting 18 Sears stores and two Kmart locations by mid-September. Liquidation sales will begin June 30.

Gordmans, another of the center’s anchor stores, held a liquidation sale this spring but is now set to reopen. The reopening is set for June 29 in the same space, the Star Tribune reported.

It appears an entity that bought at least some of the stores from the bankrupt Gordmans chain is behind the reopening, according to Nienhaus.

“This store is staying in some capacity,” he said.

Despite the Sears closings and some vacancies inside Burnsville Center, the million-square-foot regional mall’s prospects appear promising, Nienhaus said.

CBL & Associates Properties, the mall’s Tennessee-based owner along with Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney, has a number of prospects, Nienhaus said.

“I think the possibility of Sears closing was always there, since they are closing a bunch,” he said. “I know that CBL is talking to a lot of folks, and quite frankly, I believe over the next year that they will refill most if not all of the spaces that are vacant.”

Amid turmoil in the traditional retail sector, some in Burnsville are considering the future of the Burnsville Center area. The city’s Economic Development Commission and a citizen committee working with officials on rewriting the city’s comprehensive plan have called for more study of viable land uses.

Meanwhile, Hobby Lobby — an Oklahoma-based retailer specializing in arts and crafts — plans to occupy 50,000 square feet of Burnhill Plaza, 1200 County Road 42 W. It will occupy most of the old Sports Authority space, Nienhaus said.

The mall and its outlots have gotten a new look in the last couple of years with the addition of an ALDI grocery store, a Starbucks, a Chick-fil-A and JL Beers.

Hobby Lobby will open to the public at 9 a.m. Aug. 7, with a ribbon-cutting at 8:45 a.m., Nienhaus said.