Sears was the target of multiple TV news magazine scandals in the 1990s. NBC had an axe to grind with Sears and pummeled them on Dateline. As a result, Sears exited the full-service Sears Auto Center market but kept installing batteries and tires.
Some Sears Auto Center locations remained in operation as Sears Tire Centers with a side business of installing batteries, but even the battery upsell business was targeted by a new wave of TV news magazine "scandal" reports.
After the battery upsell "scandal" (there really wasn't one), Sears had finally had enough with the auto centers. Some Sears Auto Centers changed into Sears Tire Centers which only sold tires and nothing else. Some contracted to independent firms like Jiffy-Lube and retained much of their former Sears Auto Center function but without the Sears liability.
Other locations were abandoned in-place and their environmental problems were remediated and the sites sat as polluted, idle brownfields with an unexpected future potential. These are the stand-alone buildings that sit in the parking lot, separate from the main mall building. These are apparently going to be the data centers.
It's a brilliant plan. Stable power and lots of cooled, open space, in bunker-like buildings with plenty of city water. Ideal data center locations.
But they still smell like used motor oil.