BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sears will close its stores and auto centers at two locations in Western New York.

Company spokesperson Howard Riefs said the locations at the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga and the Boulevard Mall in Amherst will shut down in mid-April.

"The stores will begin liquidation sales on January 6. We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and will be accelerating the closing of unprofitable stores as we have previously announced. We often hear from our members who are disappointed when we close a store, but our Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps allow us to maintain these valued relationships long after a store closes its doors," Riefs said in an email.

While Riefs would not give specific information about the number of employees impacted by the closings, he did say eligible associates will receive severance and can apply for open positions at Sears or Kmart stores.

Sears locations at the Eastrn Hills Mall, Summit Park Mall, and McKinley Mall will remain open.

Sears Holdings, which is estimated to lose $1.5 billion in 2016, has downsized in recent years by cutting hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores. Eight months ago, the company announced the closure of more than 70 locations across the United States, including a Sears and Kmart location in the Rochester area.

Sears, like many other retailers, has been vulnerable to the changing market and the increased reliance on Internet shopping. Companies like Macy's, Sports Authority and Staples -- among many others -- have eliminated stores nationwide as a part of their own downsizing efforts.

Howard Meier, the managing director of Realciprocity Advisors in Toronto, said retailers are simply reacting to the consumer market.

However, malls and shopping centers could actually benefit from the loss of certain retail stores.

"It's also a great opportunity for some of the landlords," Meier said. "Some of these long-term, big box leases, department store leases, are on very low rents. So it's an opportunity for the landlords to basically reinvent the mall."

In a statement issued to 2 On Your Side, Boulevard Mall indicated it may plan to do just that.

The loss of Sears could "enable us to welcome new retailers and other potential tenants who could not previously be accommodated given space limitations at the center," according to the statement. However, Sears has not released any specific plans at the moment.