Sears Announces Closure of 43 More Stores

Sears Announces Closure of 43 More Stores

Hoffman Estates, Ill.–Sears Holdings Corp. announced the closure of 43 more unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores nationwide.

In a post on the retailer’s blog, Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert said the retailer would begin closing an additional eight Sears and 35 Kmart stores that are unprofitable, noting that: “Changes in consumer behavior are driving our vision and actions, and we continue to transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.”

The stores will begin liquidation sales as early as Thursday and all will shut down by early October.

The 43 closings announced late last week is the latest in a line of store closing announcements and cost-cutting measures undertaken by the flailing retailer, which is fighting to stay out of bankruptcy.

Lampert said the closures are part of a strategy to stem losses from stores that are losing money while also reducing the size of other stores that are “simply too big for our current needs.”

“Having the right formats and right-sized stores will help us put Sears Holdings in a better position to meet the realities of the changing retail world,” he said.

While Sears has closed hundreds of locations over the past year, it also has been experimenting with new, smaller-format stores, opening an appliances-only store in Fort Collins, Colorado, and an appliances and mattress store in Pharr, Texas.

In his blog, Lampert asked the company’s vendors for their continued support, pointing out the progress Sears Holdings has made in cutting costs, expanding its borrowing capacity and selling off real estate to pay down debt.

“I believe the changes we have made will begin to build more confidence in the future of Sears Holdings among our vendors so that they will increase their support and put us on a more level playing field with our competitors. While there is still work to do, we are determined to do what is necessary to remain a competitive retailer in a challenging environment,” he said.

The list of the eight Sears and 35 Kmart stores that will close is on the Sears website. The stores are located in 25 different states.

Sears ranks No. 7 on National Jeweler’s 2016 list of $100 Million Supersellers, with an estimated $750 million in watch and jewelry sales in North America in 2015.

The company joins several other longtime names in American department store retailing to shutter a sizable number of locations this year.

Macy’s Inc. is set to shed about 14 percent of its stores this year while J.C. Penney Co. Inc. will also shutter about 14 percent of its locations.

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