IMHO, the big problem with that plan is the reality of how internet shopping has affected virtually all retail segments.
Right now, there are a huge number of vacant big-box stores that used to house Sports Authority, Circuit City, Linens and Things, and stores from other companies that went bankrupt. Then, when you add in the stores that have been closed by retailers that are still in business, but are “troubled”–such as Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, JC Penney, Office Depot, Eastern Mountain Sports, Bob’s Stores, etc.–there is a LOT of vacant retail space in The US.
One of the most glaring examples of this is an upscale hardware/home decorating/appliance chain (Expo Design Centers) that Home Depot operated for several years. You may never have seen one because, at their peak, I don’t think that HD operated more than…maybe…10 of them across The US. These stores are so huge that they represent something the size of a Home Depot PLUS a large supermarket, plus some additional square footage.
When the Expo Design Center near me closed, I remember thinking…Who is going to buy or rent a store that big? Well, 6 or so years later, that mega-store is still vacant after HD’s experiment went belly-up. The only way that this space will ever be resurrected is if it is subdivided into perhaps 10 stores–but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
As more and more people do their purchasing from internet merchants, this trend is likely to get worse, rather than better, and the result is that there is so much “supply” of retail space that it has to depress the value of real estate such as Sears and K-Mart stores.
Edited to add:
I just thought of another failed retail attempt that left HUGE vacant stores. Very similar to HD’s failed Expo Design Centers was Sears’ failed The Great Indoors stores. Again, you may never have seen one during their brief lifetime because Sears only opened a handful of these appliance/home decorating/hardware stores. They weren’t quite as big as the Expo stores, but they were…big. The one near me sat vacant for about 5 years, and was finally subdivided into–IIRC–4 stores.
The bottom line is that retailing has changed–probably forever–and the current glut of vacant retail spaces will not make any vacant Sears/K-Mart stores any more attractive than the long-vacant Circuit City, Sports Authority, or Barnes & Noble stores are.