Retail anchor leaving Lafayette Square

Sears Holdings Corp. has notified the state of plans to close its store at Lafayette Square Mall.

The struggling retailer is laying off 110 employees at the department store and an automotive center at Lafayette Road and West 38th Street, due to “a change in business circumstances,” the company said in a notice filed yesterday with the state.

The move could be a devastating blow to the mall’s new owner, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. of New York, which has been working to stem an exodus of retailers since it bought the 113-acre property from locally based Simon Property Group late last year. The company is investing $12 million in a revamp that includes a go-kart track and amusement center to replace one of two already-vacant anchor spaces.

Sears plans to stay open through the holidays. Its notice to the state gives a closing date of Jan. 11, 2009.

Shares in the Illinois-based holding company that operates Sears and Kmart stores have fallen about 50 percent over the last year as consumer spending slowed. Shares were trading recently at $60.54 each.

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