Once considered an anchor store of the former Carolina East Mall and a bulwark that survived several rounds of company closings across the country, Sears in Greenville is expected to close its doors by February.

News of the closure was announced on Nov. 7 by the store’s owner, Transformco, which cited a difficult retail environment and other challenges as the reason for closing 96 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide.

Transformco purchased the assets of bankrupted Sears Holdings Corporation in February, a news release said. “We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors,” the release said.

Following the closures, the company will operate 182 stores and plans to evaluate its Sears and Kmart footprint. The release said the company will focus on better-performing retail stores and other assets and expects to “realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate.”

Carolina East Mall, a once-popular shopping hub on South Memorial Drive, was demolished in November 2006, after Belk and many other retailers left the complex. Sears owned the building that housed its store so it remained open.

Greenville-based BrodyCo Inc. recently bought the property, developed in 1979, from Stephen D. Bell Co. of Greensboro and to construct 11 Galleria, which houses Fresh Market and other retailers.

There is no word on what plans Transformco has for the Sears building after it closes. Other developments in the local retail and service sector include:

  • AC Moore, a chain arts and crafts store that announced its closure late last month has reduced its hours ahead of shuttering for good in January. The chain will close its University Commons location on Jan. 19 according to the store’s Facebook page.
  • Adams Carwash, a city landmark at 400 Greenville Blvd., was sold in September and demolished in October. CCWC Greenville 1 LLC sold the property to a couple from Centreville, Va., according to deed documents. Efforts to reach- — the parties about plans for the site have been unsuccessful.
  • Casey Dental, a pediatric dentistry service, recently built a new facility at 1431 E. Arlington Blvd. The practice is focused on the dental care of infants, children, teens and college students. The facility opened on Nov. 4. Services include preventative dental care, space maintainers, extractions, fillings and sedation dentistry.
  • Beacon Dental opened its office at 124 Beacon Drive on Oct. 23. Services range from routine exams and cleanings to oral surgery, orthodontics and periodontic therapies. the practice also provide cosmetic dentistry services.
  • The Votre Boutique opened its a brick and mortar location at 511 Red Banks Road, Suite F, Oct. 17 after two years in business. The locally owned women’s store has trendy fashions as well as staple pieces, with styles that cater to a wide age range.
  • Simply Divine Oil and Wine opened its doors Oct. 21 at its location inside Arlington Village, 692 E. Arlington Blvd. The business specializes in selling fine oils, vinegars and wines.
  • The Shave on Fifth opened a second location on Oct. 29 at Coffman’s Menswear, 505 Red Banks Road, Suite A. The new location is called The Shave on Fifth at Coffmans. It provides classic men’s haircuts, hot lather shaves and beard trims.
  • Southern Surgical Associates held an open house Nov. 4 to announce the opening of its own office-based surgery center at 2455 Emerald Place in Greenville. The outpatient center specializes in laparoscopic weight loss surgery, billiary surgery, hernia repair, heartburn surgery as well as other laparoscopic general surgical procedures.
  • The Legacy at Fire Tower opened a “smart apartment community” on Nov. 6 at 4140 Bayswater Court. Some of the features included are keyless entry, smart lighting, electronic thermostats, monitored alarms with cellular functionality, granite countertops, gourmet kitchens with ceramic tile backsplashes, walk-in closets, over-sized garden tubs and balconies.
  • Greenville’s newest Alcoholic Beverage Control store has opened beside Food Lion on 10th Street. The new 7,500-square-foot store originally was slated to open by Halloween, but was delayed for several weeks due to a ransomware attack that meant supplies could not be ordered electronically. The store, which opened last week, has a larger selection and more storage capacity than the store it replaced at 3196 E. 10th St.
  • The Leroy James Farmer’s Market, 4560 County Home Road, now will be open year-round rather than closing during the winter months. The market offers fresh meat, produce, baked goods, crafts and other homemade items sourced from local farms in Pitt County and surrounding areas.

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com or 252-329-9566. Follow him on Twitter @StocksGDR.