Sears to close Jan. 31

LAKEWOOD — Forty employees at Sears in Lakewood will be affected when the store closes early next year, the Buffalo News reported citing a notice filed with the state Department of Labor.

Sears Holdings announced this week it was closing more than 140 under-performing Sears and Kmart locations amid bankruptcy protection. The Sears at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood — one of the few remaining in Western New York — is scheduled to close Jan. 31, the Buffalo News said.

The closing will impact the 40 employees currently working at the store. The Kmart in West Ellicott is not among those scheduled to close elsewhere in the state.

The Sears opened its Lakewood location in October 1970 after moving from its longtime spot on West Second Street in downtown Jamestown, currently the offices of The Post-Journal.

“There’s a lot of fallout that could happen from this,” Lakewood trustee Ellen Barnes said Monday regarding the closure. “The village board must be as proactive as a governing body can be, working with the owners and operators of the mall in an attempt to bring replacement stores to Chautauqua Mall. This will not be easy, due to the economic conditions in our area and our state.”

The general manager of the mall has not responded to requests for comment regarding Sears’ planned shuttering.

The store is expected to begin liquidation sales within the next couple of weeks, media reports have indicated.