Dead department stores are finding an unexpected new life with U-Haul
- U-Haul is looking to buy 13 former Sears and Kmart stores for $62 million, court documents show.
- These former department store locations will be repurposed into U-Haul storage centers and places to house its fleet of rental trucks.
- U-Haul has a policy in place whereby it buys and renovates pre-existing buildings and uses them for new purposes. Earlier this year, it bought a former Macy's store after it closed down.
U-Haul could make a small dent in Sears' debt load.
The truck rental and storage company is looking to buy 13 former Sears and Kmart stores for $62 million, according to court documents that were first reported by SpareFoot. A spokesperson for U-Haul said that the company is currently awaiting approval from the bankruptcy court.Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October and announced it would be closing hundreds of stores.
These buildings, which are scattered across the United States and could otherwise have been left to crumble, will be transformed into U-Haul storage centers and places to house its fleet of rental trucks.
It turns out this isn't a lone act of kindness - U-Haul has an "adaptive reuse" policy in place whereby it buys and renovates pre-existing buildings and uses them for new purposes.
"The primary goal for U-Haul is to reuse and recycle as much material as feasible while installing as many new sustainable design features as possible," the company explains on its website.
In fact, U-Haul has bought up former Kmart and Sears stores in the past as the department-store chain has struggled and shuttered locations.Earlier this year U-Haul also bought up a former Macy's store for $1.5 million; this sprawling space took up 200,000 square feet in a mall in Pennsylvania.
U-Haul could become the remedy to malls' woes in the future as more stores shutter.
It is estimated that more than 3,800 stores will close in the US by the end of 2018. Many of these are department stores in malls, which leave large voids to fill.