Another blow to the struggling Dulles Town Center shopping mall in Sterling as news is spreading that the Sears department store — one of the few remaining anchors at the center — will be closing permanently. This comes after the Nordstroms and Lord & Taylor stores closed in recent years, and the shuttering of the Sears Auto Center in late 2020.

As with many recent store closure announcements from Sears, the news comes via the company’s job listings which show that they are hiring extra staff to help handle closing sales. The headline reads in bold print: “TEMP CASHIER UP TO 40 HRS/WK! *STORE CLOSING* (DULLES, VA) IN DULLES, VA AT SEARS.” Besides a listing for cashiers, the Dulles Sears listing for temporary Backroom help in the stockroom also denotes the closing.

Image: Sears

Believe it or not, according to the Sears website, the Sears store at the Dulles Town Center mall is the last Sears department store still open in the state of Virginia. Word is that it will close in April. The rapid collapse of the Sears brand since a 2018 bankruptcy filing is endemic of the struggles facing big box department stores in an age of online shopping. According to Forbes, in 1963, Sears operated 761 stores. Even as recently as early 2019, there were 489 Sears department stores. Today, that number is less than 40 and dropping quickly.

Image: Dulles Town Center

What this means for the Dulles Town Center is unclear. Back in November, The Burn reported on a change of ownership of the mall. A new company — Centennial of Dallas, Texas — has been brought in to operate the shopping center. With it came reports of a possible major overhaul of the center, to reimagine and reinvigorate it. You can see that report here.

(Image at top: Sears Dulles Town Center)