State Representative Dan Beiser and State Senator Bill Haine are calling on Sears to return the money it received from the state just months before announcing widespread store closures. Among the six locations that will be closing in Illinois is the one at Alton Square. Sears Holdings was approved for $150-million in tax incentives last December.
The announcement of the Alton closing was made just two months later. Beiser and Haine, both of Alton, are admonishing the company, and Beiser has gone so far as to set up a petition drive demanding Sears repay the money.
Systemwide, the company will close a total of 15 Sears and Kmart stores, including nine of its Great Indoors stores. In addition to the Alton Store, the company will close its Sears stores in McHenry and Lombard, Illinois. Also on the list are Kmart stores in Oak Lawn, Zion and Peru. The closures will mean the loss of some 560 jobs as well as another 100 layoffs from Sears' corporate headquarters. Locally, 40 to 80 people will lose their jobs once the mall location closes.