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St. Paul Sears store closes after 55 years

Sunday was the store's last day.

For more than five decades, consumers in St. Paul could head to Sears for their shopping needs.

But that came to an end on Sunday, the last business day for the St. Paul Sears location near the State Capitol.

The store's closing came on the same day as news that Sears and Kmart may both be preparing for liquidation. Bloomberg is reporting that a takeover bid by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert fell short on Sunday. 

A bankruptcy court hearing is set for Tuesday.

RELATED: Mall of America Sears will close in March

More than 55 years ago, St. Paul was one of the "lucky" ones to finally welcome a Sears.

"They were the model of modern retail, they were the future," described St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, B Kyle. "They came to St. Paul in 1963. 22 acres of a complex here."

Now in 2019, the 22 acres sit quietly on the last day as part of a Sears store. The yellow "Store Closing" sign on the building screams louder than anything else in its surroundings.

"My generation and that before me grew up on Sears," reflected Kyle. "Shopping for Christmas gifts for ourselves...it's a bittersweet day."

It's also a time for goodbyes for Joyce Reilly, who spent more than 20 years of her career at the St. Paul Sears store.

RELATED: Malls strive to stay successful in Twin Cities

On Sunday, she even brought her red badge.

"You can count on me!" read Reilly, holding up a red name tag that bore her name.

She said every year she spent working at the St. Paul Sears remains a pleasant memory.

"It's sad, I made a lot of nice friends here," Reilly said. "It was a good place to work."

Kyle said although it's a sad departure, she's hopeful for the future.

"Our opportunity unfortunately is as a result of a loss and the good news is we're ready for it," Kyle said. "There are very exciting things coming in the next year or two."

She said nothing specific is planned yet. Sears declined to comment on this story.

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