Reuters

Sears is looking into re-purposing its shuttered stores as datacenters, starting with one in Chicago.

Sears! Once the catalog king, then an eminent brick-and-mortar retailer, and now, perhaps, a real-estate holding company that leases out space for computers that power the cloud.

Data Center Knowledge reports that Sears had created a new unit -- Ubiquity Critical Environments -- to look into repurposing its shuttered stores as datacenters, starting with this one in Chicago.

Yes, this is this week's sign that the 21st century is upon us.

Sears Holdings has a portfolio of 2.5 million square feet of retail space. Not all of it will be suitable for housing server farms, but some percentage of it will be. Ubiquity is tasked with figuring out which stores could be converted. 

Right now, mall sites are out, but you never know. "I don't think the industry is yet ready for a mall-based data center," Ubiquity's manager told the site. "That may take some time. The stand-alone location is optimal." 

(Imagine wandering an empty mall. Closed, closed, closed. But behind each grate, you hear the whir of a shard of the Internet. Finally, you come to an open storefront. It's a Starbucks and there are 30 IT guys at makeshift standup desks.) 

Sears is considering other options for its closed stores: renting them out as "disaster recovery facilities (euphemistically: "business continuity centers") or leasing their roofs to wireless carriers.

It's weird out there.

H/t: Motherboard

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Environment

    Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

    The plan is for 50 million new trees to repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country—and offer a natural escape from several cities in the north.

  2. Design

    These Sneakers Are Your Free Transit Pass

    A new BVG-Adidas collaboration means unlimited travel along Berlin’s public transit network for the rest of 2018. That is if you can find a pair.

  3. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.
    Design

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

  4. U.S. Embassy in London
    Design

    America's Passive-Aggressive New Embassy Arrives in London

    Why can’t we let bunkers be bunkers?

  5. People walk through a crosswalk.
    Equity

    Great Cities Enable You to Live Longer

    Dense, well-educated, immigrant-friendly cities boost longevity—especially for the low-income.