An American icon of retail department stores has departed Cortez.
Even its location at Market and Main streets evokes its enduring symbol of traditional brick-and-mortar capitalism.
But after more than 50 years at various locations in town, Sears closed the local store June 26.
“We are sad to leave the Cortez market,” said district sales manager Stewart Farris.
The appliance market has become very competitive, he said, and the customer volume was not enough to support it.
The Durango Hometown Sears remains open, and Cortez customers are being directed to that location, Farris said.
The closing sale, with deals up to 70% off, went well, he added. Remaining inventory has been cleared out.
Store owners David and Naomi Farrell declined to comment about the closing.
The 10,000-square-foot building is owned by Anna M. Helms of Sun City, Arizona, according to the Montezuma County Assessor’s office.
Sears has had a long presence in Cortez and been in multiple locations.
Jan and Clyde Hutchinson owned the store in the early 1970s when it was on the west end of town, near where the Burger King is now.
“It was a busy place back then,” said their son David Hutchinson. “As kids, we kind of had run of the place. After school, I helped with deliveries, and one of my jobs was to stoke the coal heater.”
There was a shop in the back where bicycles were built, he said. The main products sold were appliances, tires, lawnmowers and batteries.
The store moved to Maple and Main streets, and was across from City Market before moving to its final location at Market and Main.
Sears donated to Montezuma-Cortez High School, and a picture of the store with students was a regular feature in the annual yearbooks.