Sears Closing Flagship Chicago Loop Store in April

CHICAGO (AP) --Sears' presence on Chicago's State Street is about to end.

The retailer announced Tuesday an April closing for its flagship store.

In an email, a Sears Holding Corp. spokesman said the Hoffman Estates-based company can no longer support the store's operating losses. Sears opened the store with great fanfare in 2001, receiving $13.5 million in tax increment-financing assistance from the city.

The spokesman says the store's operational performance "has been poor through much of its existence."

Sears officials say about 160 employees will lose their jobs. They will be able to apply for positions at other Sears or K-Mart stores. The retailer will begin liquidating the store's merchandise on Jan. 26

The Sears spokesman said the closure is part of efforts to reduce expenses and transform the retailer's business model.

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