Sears Announces Plans To Close West Baraboo Store

Sears Holdings, corporate parent of Sears, K-Mart, and Lands End stores, has announced it will close its West Baraboo Sears store sometime next year.

Company officials won?t specify how many jobs will be lost, but they said each of the 79 stores it announced would close on Thursday employ between 40 and 80 people.

The landmark location sits at the intersection of Highways 136 and 33 in the village of West Baraboo and is one of the village’s largest taxpayers.

Area residents said that news of the closure was disappointing and they feared it would impact the community.

“I think it?s sad, especially for the workers,” said shopper Sue Wagner, who has a friend who works full-time in the store. “She?s been there 20-some years. Then, it?s really sad. (It’s) hard finding another job.”

Village President Bruce Meyer said the loss of the store will be felt in many ways.

“People will be going to Madison and spending that money there, rather than right here locally,” Meyer said.

Sears Holdings announced earlier this week it planned to close between 100 and 120 Sears and K-Mart stores next year. Though it hasn?t yet announced the complete list, the savings are expected to generate an immediate $140 million in cash for the strapped company, while permanently reducing fixed costs as much as $200 million.

Some shoppers said that they felt bare shelves weeks before the holiday season meant a closure could be coming.

“You read in the paper some of the Sears stores are closing, and then you come in here and you think, uh-oh, this is gonna be one of them,” Sally Wehler said.