The department store Sears will live on, for now. The iconic retail chain avoided a total shutdown Wednesday, as the company’s chairman won a bankruptcy auction. The $5 billion pitch will keep open 400 stores nationwide.
“It’s important for the people that shop at Sears and certainly the people that work for Sears,” says Chris Setti CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development center.
After the Sears store in Bloomington closed back in November Peoria leaders feared the chain may close in the River City as well. But thanks to a last minute bid those who shop at the Northwoods mall location can continue to support the community.
While it us unknown how long Sears will remain open Setti says it’s crucial to continue to shop locally.
Even visiting big box retailers like Sears will help dollars stay local. For every $100 you spend in Peoria, $2.75 goes to the city, while 75¢ goes to the county.
“That’s what helps to pay for firefighters, police offices, 9-1-1 dispatchers, code enforcement officers and all of those other things that make this city a city,” said Setti. He explained, “The things make Peoria a place where people want to live and the services they demand.”
It remains to be seen if the retail chain can continue to compete with online sales, but Setti says the greater Peoria area will continue to explore options if another retail space is left unattended
If shoppers do find themselves shopping online from big retailers like Sears city council member Sid Ruckriegel says it’s important that shoppers pick up their items at the store locally. That way, your money is still reinvested into the city.