It's like Houdini performed a disappearing act on the Sears at the Dartmouth Mall.

One day it's open and the next, they're announcing that this fall one of the biggest names in American retail is vanishing from the local scene. Both the retail store and the Sears Auto Center will fade away and that means a lot of local jobs as well.

Employees will be urged to apply at other stores in North Attleboro, Brockton, Hyannis, or Hanover. Maybe it was Sears' lack of vision that left them living in the past instead of innovating for the future, but shoppers have also dropped out of their sight.

I was thinking about all the companies that vanished from sight locally. Filene's, Polaroid, F.W. Woolworth, Zayre's, Circuit City, Old Country Buffet, and Kmart, to mention a few locally.

Along with these well-known retailers, a little bit of history dissolves. I can remember before Christmas, we used to look long and longingly at the Sears Wish Book that was the basis of our family's Christmas shopping. But that was then.

It's a changing world, between malls, in general, losing the public appeal, really stiff competition from retailers, including online stores, changing consumer habits and the high cost of labor. The iconic anchor stores of yesteryear are not only shutting up shop but they're also bringing to a close their cultural footprint.

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.