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Grand Forks Sears closes, leaving Columbia Mall without two anchor tenants

GRAND FORKS — Sears in Grand Forks appears to be closed, leaving Columbia Mall without two anchor tenants.

The national retailer posted signs at its 2800 S. Columbia Road store saying it was "closed to the public." Sears Holdings announced in May it would shutter its Grand Forks location along with more than 60 stores across the nation. The Columbia Mall site was slated to close by this month.

The 108,000-square-foot space housed Sears since 2000. The May announcement of closures came with the retail giant's summary of its first quarter results for the year, which yielded a net loss of $424 million for shareholders.

"In a challenging quarter, we continued to focus on our strategic transformation, identifying additional opportunities to streamline operations and adjust inventory and operating expenses while staying focused on our best members, best categories and best stores," Sears Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said in a statement.

Brown paper covered the inside of windows and doors looking into the Sears building, much like the Macy's space on the opposite side of the mall. Macy's closed its Grand Forks location in March 2017, and the 9,000-square-foot space has sat empty ever since. The retailer left Grand Forks and other cities across the U.S. after citing poor sales and low performance when competing with online companies.

Joy 2001 Inc., a California-base property management company, purchased the Macy's site for $396,666 in January and is working to bring potential tenants to the location.

Sears and Macy's were anchor tenants for Columbia Mall. Other anchors include J.C. Penney and Scheels.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248