Innovel Solutions

The Innovel sign has been erected outside of what once was the Sears Logistics center in Manteno.

MANTENO — It appears the massive Sears/Innovel distribution complex in east Manteno will be shrinking, as the company seeks a way to become relevant once again.

Although a company spokesman did not reply to requests from the Daily Journal seeking information, it has been learned officials were at the Manteno location Thursday and updated workers on what will be happening in its Kankakee County operation.

The company will be closing its operations at 1600 Boudreaux Road in eastern Manteno and will be consolidating its operations into the Kmart distribution complex at 333 S. Spruce St., on the village’s west side, according to some who were at the meeting.

It is unclear when this change will take place.

As a result of this move, the company will be vacating about 2 million-plus square feet of warehouse space. The Kmart center is 1 million square feet.

In all, the company employs fewer than 200.

Innovel Solutions took over Sears Logistics in Manteno in May 2018. In addition to transporting Sears and Kmart products, Innovel transports merchandise for Amazon, Costco and Electrolux, among other retailers.

There was concern as recently as Jan. 8 that Sears would be seeking to liquidate its inventory and sell its properties.

However, its chairman and other investors put together a $5.2 billion bid to salvage Sears Holdings Corp from bankruptcy. The company employs about 50,000.

The only remaining Sears or Kmart property in Kankakee County are the distribution centers. The Sears store in the Northfield Square mall closed in April 2018.

The Kmart store in Bradley closed in May 2017.

A version of this story appeared in the Friday digital edition of the Daily Journal.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.