The Sears store at Central Mall in Fort Smith is set to close next year.

The local Sears is among two in Arkansas set to close in 2018. The other is in Fayetteville.

Sears Holdings made the announcement Thursday.

Liquidation sales will begin as early as Nov. 9 at the closing stores, the company noted. The closing stores will remain open during the holiday season, and employees will get severance pay as well as an opportunity to apply for other jobs within the retail chain, the company noted.

Casey McKinley, marketing and specialty leasing manager at Central Mall, confirmed the closing of the “anchor” store. The mall's marketing group will be looking for a new tenant of the space. McKinley was not certain how much square footage the Sears store occupies nor how many employees it has. A Sears employee said she was not allowed to provide the number of employees at the store.

“They’ve been a great tenant for many years, but unfortunately they have decided to close this store,” McKinley said by phone. “While we are disappointed in this decision, we view this as an opportunity to enhance the retail offerings at our center to better meet the needs of our customers.”

Sears Holdings Corp. stated it continues its strategic assessment of productivity will continue to right size store footprint.

"In the process, as previously announced, we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members," the company added.

Oct Oct. 16 Sears Holdings Corp. announced that Bruce R. Berkowitz had decided to step down from the company's board of directors, effective October 31. Berkowitz joined the board of Sears Holdings in February 2016.