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Local News

Retail outlook steady at Louis Joliet Mall

Sears last week announced it would close 100 stores, including mall locations at Orland Square in Orland Park and Northfield Square in Bourbonnais.
Sears last week announced it would close 100 stores, including mall locations at Orland Square in Orland Park and Northfield Square in Bourbonnais.

JOLIET – The four anchor stores at Louis Joliet Mall remain intact going into what could be another treacherous year for retailers.

Sears Holdings last week announced the closing of 100 Sears and Kmart stores.

The Sears store at Louis Joliet Mall is staying open. But Sears is closing stores at two other regional malls – Orland Square in Orland Park and Northfield Square in Bourbonnais.

“None of our department stores have announced any plans to close their stores,” Louis Joliet Mall manager Eric Loula said Friday.

The other department store anchors at the mall are Macy’s, JCPenney and Carson’s.

The outlook for Macy’s and JCPenney even appeared to brighten a bit as those companies reported that sales during the holidays were better than a year ago.

Both department store chains have been closing stores.

Bon-Ton Stores, which owns Carson’s, announced in November that it would close 40 stores in 2018, although the company has not named locations.

The end-of-2017 holiday season generally has been characterized as a good one for retailers.

Loula said the holiday season at Louis Joliet Mall “was good. Things are very similar to last year, so that’s a good thing.”

One bright spot at the Louis Joliet Mall was the return of a Gloria Jean’s coffee shop, which left the mall after the 2016 holiday season.

“I think the store that was most anticipated and most missed by our customers was Gloria Jean’s,” said Loula, noting a big demand to bring the coffee shop back.

Gloria Jean’s returned in the middle of the holiday shopping season with a kiosk in the mall and is staying, Loula said.

“They seemed to have long lines,” he said. “Customers seem to be happy to have them back, and so are we.”

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