State Rep. Al Riley Has Words for Sears

Al Riley
State Rep. Al Riley. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

SPRINGFIELD, IL -(ENEWSPF)- State Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) issued the following statement in response to the announced closing of several Illinois department stores owned by Sears Holding Corporation, including the Sears located in the Lincoln Mall in Matteson.

"I am extremely disappointed in Sears Holding Corporation for its harmful decision to close its location in Matteson, especially in light of the multi-million dollar tax incentive package that the General Assembly passed just a few short months ago. This relief package was intended to foster job creation while protecting existing jobs."

"Without advance notice, Sears had a phalanx of signs on Lincoln Highway announcing the store was closing. To add insult to injury, a spurious reason for leaving was advanced. That is, no one would acquire Lincoln Mall at the June auction, and that the utilities would be turned off. That’s utterly ridiculous, as stores still exist in the mall. If Sears had that kind of foresight, they could have projected the fragility of their own business model years ago. That kind of talk doesn’t exactly endear you to a region that frequented their store for decades."

"During these difficult economic times, I will continue to work with local governments and businesses to preserve jobs and sustain economic development. I will also enlist the support of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association to bring Lincoln Mall into their regional development strategy. Although Lincoln Mall has faced a number of fiscal challenges in the past, it continues to focus on new business development, and is a vital part of our local economy. Sears’ decision to close the Matteson store will put 114 employees out of work; a decision counterproductive to our mission of sustaining and building jobs and restoring our local economy."

"We are still facing many difficult fiscal issues as a state, and this big corporation has only made the situation worse by steadily eliminating much needed jobs in our communities. Sears took advantage of the state of Illinois and I think we should look into how we can prevent these kinds of deceptive and community-destroying practices from occurring in the future."