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Sears To Convert Old Auto Centers Into National Chain of Data Centers 167

1sockchuck writes "Sears plans to convert dozens of Sears Auto Center stores into a national chain of server farms, saying it wants to be "the McDonald's or Starbucks of data centers." The strategy is an evolution of Sears Holdings' previously announced plan to turn old Sears and Kmart stores into IT centers. Instead, it will focus on the more than 700 Sears Auto Centers, which include many stand-alone cement buildings on mall perimeters. Ubiquity Critical Environments, the data center arm of Sears, will team with Schneider Electric to turn these sites into data centers. They'll use repeatable modular designs to add power and cooling infrastructure, targeting at least 23 smaller cities where there currently aren't many options for IT outsourcing."
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Sears To Convert Old Auto Centers Into National Chain of Data Centers

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday November 14, 2013 @07:58PM (#45428147) Homepage

    Or have malls been giving sweet deals to the big end cap stores?

    Many mall owners are desperate. No new enclosed mall has been built in the US in the last ten years. (American Dream Meadowlands [] in New Jersey doesn't count; after two bankruptcies and a roof collapse, they're "on hold".) There are hundreds of dead malls [] in the US. If you have a use for mall-type space that doesn't have to be near customers, there's plenty of space available.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @08:42PM (#45428535)

    I used to work at a Sears Auto Center as a stock clerk when I was fresh out of high school. They have an underground basement that is essentially a bunker that is the same size as the enter area above it.

    It's a fantastic idea. It's built like a bunker, and certainly not the regular pre-fab. Remember, these centers have to be seriously strengthened to handle the weight of the cars on top of it.

    I'm looking forward to see what they do with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14, 2013 @11:33PM (#45429509)

    When I was last at Rackspace in 2010, they had moved much of their operations to the part of the Windsor Park mall in San Antonio that used to house a Montgomery Ward's and looked to be progressing quite well. Despite the dread I had of moving there due to the terrible acoustics amongst a staff that was phone intensive, I thought it was a neat idea from an urban planning and community reinvestment perspective since much of the surrounding area was degrading economically with rising crime rates. I haven't checked up on them recently but the plan was to take the entire former mall over and convert it into their HQ, completing the move from their previous location at the old Datapoint building.

  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Friday November 15, 2013 @09:42AM (#45432053)

    Hard to believe how ahead of their time Sears was on one hand, and how unbelievably myopic on the other. In the early 20th century, you could order a HOUSE from the Sears catalog. They would ship it in by train as a kit. A fucking HOUSE! Yet along comes the internet, and they completely missed its implications. Here is a company that *specialized* in having people in the boondocks order shit from a large catalog selection, and shipping it to them (and had been doing it for over 100 years). And they take one look at the internet and say "Eh, no opportunity there." Just amazing.

    Proof positive that you can get so locked into a certain mentality of how things are done that even the slightest attempt to step outside of that conventional thinking can completely elude you.

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