Farewell, Sears. What Should Replace It?

Photo courtesy Jeff Iannuzzelli

It’s the end of an era as the Sears on Hooper Avenue in Toms River closed its doors – permanently. The shelves are now empty and those five big letters on the facade have officially come down.

The retailer, which opened in 1976 when the Ocean County Mall became a popular place for shoppers, was shut down along with hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores nationwide.

We knew this was coming but it still begs the question: how does a major retail outlet go out of business? You would think a department store like Sears would always be there. Who could forget those commercials with the “softer side of Sears” jingles or Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, sponsored by the Sears-Roebuck Foundation. These are staples you never think will leave the landscape.

Is it a sign of the times? Are online retailers killing retail businesses? Could those box stores like Target and Wal-Mart be next?

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What would you like to see open at the Ocean County Mall?

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Photo by Jason Allentoff