"We're absolutely happy to welcome Hobby Lobby to our city," said Mayor Mary Jane Chesley. "Pine Tree and its partners have really been instrumental in establishing a relationship with a national retailer that is a perfect fit for our community."
The Sears store in Mt. Vernon will close on Sept. 8. A company official confirmed in mid-June the retailer made a decision to not renew its lease with Sansone Group.
The Sears store opened in September 1980 and the closure will affect 68 employees, information states. Those individuals will be given an opportunity to apply for positions at other Kmart and Sears stores, according to an statement from company officials.
Sansone Group purchased the mall in April 2012 and are "currently renovating the mall to accommodate larger junior anchors," the Facebook posting stated. JC Penney, Dunham Sports and Peebles anchor the center, which is further complimented by national retailers GNC, Maurices, Claire's, Bath & Body Works, Hallmark, Glik's, Shoe Sensation, Subway and Wendy's.
Sansone and Wanxlang America Real Estate Group is the managing partner overseeing the mall's operation and leasing.
Hobby Lobby has store locations in Carbondale and Fairview Heights.