ST. CLOUD -- A big piece of the Crossroads Center will soon sit empty. Sears has announced Monday it will be closing their store inside the mall by mid-January.

In a statement, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs says the closure is not solely aimed at cost savings.

"We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced. This is part of a strategy we have been executing against as many of our larger stores are too big for our need."

Earlier this year Sears closed 50 Automotive Center locations company-wide, including the one at the Crossroads Center.

Riefs says employees that are eligible will receive severance pay and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other area Sears or Kmart stores.

Crossroads Center General Manager Darcy Eigen confirms Sears will be leaving the space but can't comment at this time on the future plans for the location.

Sears is located at 4101 West Division.