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Sears shutting the last Great Indoors

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - The Great Indoors is going to the great beyond.

Buried in the recent announcements of store closings by Sears Holdings in the wake of major losses for the year was the

A recently remodeled Sears store in Greensboro, N.C.A recently remodeled Sears store in Greensboro, N.C.
news that it would shut down the last remaining nine Great Indoors locations. No specific closing date was given.

Launched in the late 1990s, The Great Indoors units were mammoth, 100,000-sq.-ft. home superstores, containing most major furnishings classifications from textiles to furniture to consumer electronics to kitchen and bath. There were 20 stores at the peak of the operation, merchandised and bought separately from traditional Sears stores.

Established concurrently with launch of a similar concept by Home Depot called Expo, these giants were viewed as the next big trend in home furnishings retailers, but it was not to be. Depot shuttered its Expo operation in the mid-2000s and other oversized home operations such as Garden Ridge and Incredible Universe have been substantially pared back or closed.

After the merger of Sears and Kmart to create Sears Holdings, not much was ever mentioned of The Great Indoors and the stores were never believed to be big money-makers.

According to published reports, the last nine stores are located in Scottsdale and Chandler, Ariz..; Lone Tree, Colo.; Lombard, Ill.; Gaithersburg, Md..; Novi, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; and Farmers Branch and Houston, Texas.

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