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Sears ya later! Department store departing Kings Plaza, makeover to follow

Shopping spree!: The Sears in Kings Plaza will close in September to make way for a Primark and Zara, two European fashion retailers.
Brooklyn Daily
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Everything must go!

Iconic American department store Sears is shutting its doors after 20 years in Marine Park’s Kings Plaza mall, and high-end European clothing stores Primark and Zara — Brooklyn’s first — will replace it, mall owners announced on June 16. The tony couture-purveyors will help transform the mall into a more fashion-forward spot, said an executive from Macerich, the company that owns Kings Plaza.

“We are very pleased that both Primark and Zara share our vision of making Kings Plaza a ‘must-have’ retail location,” said Randy Brant. “We have been pursuing this significant redevelopment opportunity since we purchased the property, and we look forward to creating even more value at Kings Plaza.”

Macerich will redevelop the Flatbush Avenue-facing Sears building in early 2017, and mall moguls will gussy-up the building’s entrance, replacing the window-less facade with a four-story glass front, said a spokeswoman for Macerich. They’re also building two new escalators and elevators but will not comment on the price tag, she said.

Sears decided to close up shop by mid-September to help cut costs for the Chicago-based company, which came to Kings Plaza in 1997, said a spokesman for the company.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses,” said Chris Brathwaite.

Sears will host a pre-closing liquidation sale starting June 30, he said.

The store opened to great fanfare in 1997, and the company’s former chief — a Park Slope native — predicted two decades ago that the store would have staying power in Brooklyn.

“New York City is one of our most important markets, and right now we feel it is vastly underserved. At Kings Plaza, we have an ideal environment, and we feel we will be there for the long run,” said then-chief executive Arthur Martinez.

The borough’s other Sears location — on Beverly Road in Flatbush — and its iconic building are safe for now, Brathwaite said.

“The store is open and serving our members,” he said. “It’s not closing.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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