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Sears Shoppers Slam "Depressing" Comeback of Bankrupt Department Store

The retailer just reopened a store in one state.

The retail apocalypse has taken a toll on most companies at this point. But over the past few years, no store has had quite as slow and painful of a decline as Sears. The once-beloved department chain's footprint has fallen from thousands to just a handful of locations. And now it seems not even a revival is going to work for the retailer, as one newly reopened location is receiving a lot of criticism from Sears shoppers. Read on to find out why they are slamming the "depressing" comeback of this bankrupt department store.

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Sears filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

The parking lot of a closed down Sears location

The rise and fall of Sears has spanned decades. In 2010, Sears Holding Corporation operated more than 3,500 Sears and Kmart stores (which it merged with in the early 2000s), according to Business Insider. But in Oct. 2018, Sears officially filed for bankruptcy and reported that it had fewer than 700 stores still open at the time of its filing.

That number has only gotten smaller and smaller over the last few years. Back in May and June, Sears closed its last remaining stores in several states including North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Louisiana. Then by Aug. 3, ScrapeHero reported that the bankrupt department store had just 12 locations left in the entire country: three in both California and Florida, as well as one each in New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and Washington.

RELATED: Sears Is Liquidating Inventory and Closing Its Last Store in Another State.

The retailer just reopened a store in one state.

sign on the front of sears store
James R. Martin / Shutterstock

Despite the steady decline of Sears stores, the retailer has just revived a location in California—bringing the total of locations in this state back to four. A Los Angeles County Sears located in Burbank, California, previously shuttered its doors in Dec. 2022. But earlier this year, rumors started circulating about a reopening of the Burbank Town Center store, CoStar News reported.

Eric Maenner, the general manager of Burbank Town Center, confirmed to the news outlet that the company had plans for a "soft opening" of the three-story Sears at 111 E. Magnolia Blvd. Over time, passersby noticed signs that said "Rediscover Sears" and what appeared to be stocked shelves through a second-story window, according to CoStar News.

Then on Oct. 22, the rumors proved to be true, as the formerly-closed Sears hosted its "soft opening" and welcomed shoppers back inside, KTLA reported.

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But Sears shoppers are already slamming the "depressing" comeback.


Don't call it a comeback just yet, however. Several shoppers have already taken to social media to express their criticism over the department store's recent revival.

"The grand opening of Sears in Burbank is the saddest thing I've ever seen," Reddit user briskpoint wrote in an Oct. 22 post on the r/LosAngeles subreddit, sharing photos of empty shelves and sparse selections.

"I was excited to check out the store. A cashier told me they spent ten months remodeling it, but I can't figure out what was changed besides the inventory," the user continued. "The carpet is filthy and the drop ceiling was stained with missing pieces. The registers, counters, price-checker, basically everything was dated and old. Ignoring all that, there was a severe lack of inventory missing all throughout the store."

Others sounded off with this disappointment in the comment section. "This is sad. It looks like it's about to close up, not like it just reopened," one user responded. Another commented, "This is depressing. Sears used to b my go to store for clothes and appliances."

But some have shared more positive reactions to the reopening.

A closeup of a Sears exterior sign with the R letter broken

It's not all bad news, though. Some shoppers are singing a different tune about the department store's comeback. In the comments section of a Facebook post about the reopening, one customer said it's what they've "all wished for" in the area. "It looked great, I was there today. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there! The employees were tending to the dressing rooms and keeping things near, very friendly welcoming shoppers. You even had holiday items! What a great event," they wrote.

Others even directed everyone to be more optimistic about the store's future in briskpoint's Reddit post. "From my understanding, it's a soft opening," one person commented. "I think they're just trying to work kinks out with their business before they go live, officially."

Another shopper made a Facebook post about their trip to the reopened Burbank Sears on Oct. 25. "All in all it was nice to see that Sears is back in business and all the people that are working there are excited that they're there," they wrote. "So let's support Sears in the Burbank Town Center. if you're around there go in and say hi and buy something so they don't take it away again."

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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