A once grand department store chain that used to be synonymous with where you went to buy practically anything you could ever need is leaving the Philadelphia area forever.

Sears -- remember Sears? -- is closing its store at the Willow Grove Park Mall, just outside of Philadelphia.

That store is significant because it was the last remaining Sears in all of Pennsylvania and the last one closest to much of Southern and Central New Jersey.

Not that many people traveled from New Jersey over to Pennsylvania just to go to Sears. And that's a big part of the problem.

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Back in the day, Sears had everything. Literally. Clothes, toys, electronics, appliances, lawn mowers, tires for your car. Everything. Over the years, after being bought by Kmart, Sears (and Kmart) have been slowly (painfully slowly) fading away, being financially demolished by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

And back in the day, Sears stores were everywhere. Deptford Mall, Hamilton Mall, Ocean County Mall, downtown Vineland -- everywhere.

Sears, Vineland NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Sears, Vineland NJ - Photo: Google Maps

But that was then. This is now.

At last count, there were 25 Sears stores left in the United States and Puerto Rico. Now, 24 with Willow Grove closing.

The closest one to our area is now in Jersey City.


As for Kmart, six are left. Just six. Two are in North Jersey.

If you want to make one last trip to Sears, do so quickly. While an official closing date for the Willow Grove store has not yet been announced, it won't be around much longer.

And one quick clarification: we opened this story saying Sears was leaving the Philly area forever. That is an assumption on our part. I mean, they could open new stores. However, given their financial situation, it's pretty safe to say that you would have better odds of winning both Powerball and Mega Millions in the same week than a new Sears opening.

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