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Sears closing store at The Oaks Mall in Gainesville

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Sears has announced it is closing its store at the Oaks Mall in Gainesville.

The store will remain open through mid-July, with its liquidation sale beginning Friday. A spokesman called it a difficult but necessary decision.

"We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced," the spokesman said in a release. "This is not an effort solely aimed at cost savings but is part of a strategy we’ have been executing against as many of our larger stores are too big for our needs. Having fewer stores – and the right format – will help us bring Sears Holdings to a size and place to meet the realities of the changing retail world."

It's been a tough time for retailers. The Gainesville store is one of as many as two dozen Sears is closing across the country.

It is the second retailer to announce it is leaving the Oaks Mall this year. Macy's announced it was leaving at the beginning of the year. It was replaced by a Dillard's expansion.

Sears has not publicly announced how many associates will be affected. It says they are eligible to receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for positions at remaining Sears and Kmart stores.

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