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Merrillville-based Carson's closed its only brick-and-mortar store
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Merrillville-based Carson's closed its only brick-and-mortar store

From the Region stores that closed in 2020 series
Merrillville-based Carson's closed its only brick-and-mortar store

The closed Carson's at the Southlake Mall.

Carson's, the iconic Midwestern department store chain that has been run in Merrillville as an e-commerce site since it collapsed into bankruptcy in 2018, closed its only remaining brick-and-mortar store in Evergreen Park, Illinois at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has kept more people home.

The legacy retail brand was purchased out of bankruptcy by CSC Generation, the parent company of Merrillville-based DirectBuy, two years ago. CSC Generation, which acquired the buying club DirectBuy in a similar fashion a year earlier, located Carson's operations in DirectBuy's corporate offices in Merrillville, which already had a call center to support a business that largely migrated from physical stores to online.

CSC Generation operates both DirectBuy and Carson's largely as online retailers, but reopened one brick-and-mortar Carson's store at 9700 S. Western Ave. in Evergreen Park, just outside Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. At the time, the new owners had ambitions of opening more brick-and-mortar stores, and also expressed an interest in buying and reviving the shuttered Carson's at the Southlake Mall in Hobart, but that never came to fruition.

The company added a Z Gallerie to the Carson's in Evergreen Park after DirectBuy bought that retailer out of bankruptcy court last summer.

Carson's, formerly Carson Pirie Scott, operated as a department store chain for more than 160 years, with a long-standing presence in the Region and locations in Hammond, Hobart, Michigan City and Calumet City.

CSC Generation officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Carson's and Z Gallerie continue to operate online as e-commerce sites.

Recap: A look at businesses that closed in Northwest Indiana in 2018

Recap: A look at businesses that closed in Northwest Indiana in 2018

Some have been called 2017 the "retailpocalypse" because of the stunning number of brick-and-mortar stores that have been closing across the country.

More businesses were shuttered in the Region and south suburbs in 2018. Find out which closed their doors in 2018 here:

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Brightwood College is closing campuses nationwide, with some locations offering their last classes as early as this Friday.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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