Still no word on plans for Houston’s Midtown Sears store, shuttered last week after 79 years

In this May 18, 2011 photo, customers enter and exit a Sears store in Bethel Park, Pa. Retailers are reporting solid sales gains for July Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, as deep discounts and sweltering heat drove shoppers to air conditioned malls. But with growing concerns about the economy, analysts worry shoppers heading back to malls for back-to-school shopping will hold tight to some of the habits of the Great Recession _ focusing on necessities and waiting for big discounts.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

One of Houston’s most iconic retail locations closed its doors for the last time.

The Sears store near Wheeler and Main, which opened in 1939, closed down this weekend.

Going out offering seemingly-unprecedented discounts for its final clearance sale, the store reportedly sold shoes as low as $3 and women’s blouses for under $5.

Employees pulled the remaining merchandise to the center of the showroom floor. Some store fixtures, such as shelving, also went on sale for anyone who wanted a piece of the historic store.

Sears announced the closure of 180 stores last year, with another 150 on the chopping block; announcements regarding closures of the Midtown store went live last October, with the store promoting its ongoing clearance sales since the announcement.

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The Sears & Roebuck Co. built the store was in 1939, signing a 99-year lease on the building with owners Rice Management. When Sears announced the closures, the lessor reportedly bought out the remainder of the lease.

Its original building is designed with an art-deco style, but much designerse eventually covered the exterior eventually by sheets of corrugated metal.

“It looks ragged, but it looks ragged because of what they did with it in the ‘60s. Underneath, it’s solid as a rock,” David Bush, executive director of Preservation Houston, said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “It’s got a lot of potential if you look at it in a way that we don’t often look at historic buildings in Houston.”

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No word thus far on if Rice Management will be tearing down the building or refitting the existing structure, but, one thing’s for sure, the store’s closure comes after several years of lackluster performance in the “big box” retail sector as a whole.

A number of other stores in addition to Sears, including Toys R Us and Sam’s Club, either closed or will close in Houston; for example, workers demolished the Macy’s store in downtown Houston in September 2013.

RIP to this Houston classic.

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