The Sears store in the University Mall will close permanently early next year. Between online sales and even bigger big-box stores, Sears sales have been in decline – and not only in Vermont.
"Department stores have been trying to keep up with online shopping giants like Amazon for years but it has proven to be a losing battle. There's currently only 182 Sears stores still standing in the U.S. The UMall Sears is set to close in February. It remains to be seen how the loss will impact the mall - if at all. "I still see a lot of people in the mall. The stores are still packed. The parking lots are packed," said Maynard.
But no matter what happens more younger people say they'll be doing their holiday shopping at home. "It's nice to just be able to stay curled up in a Snuggie and push some buttons and have your stuff show up at your doorstep. That's awesome," said Trey Michael, who prefers online shopping. Despite major retail losses, the area is also making retail gains. An REI location is opening up in Williston next weekend."
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