As Sears Holdings continues its “transformation,” the retailer will close another 43 locations as the company “continues to focus on our best stores and return to profitability,” said Eddie Lampert, chairman and CEO of the retailer.
The latest round of store closures will include eight Sears locations and 35 Kmart stores. Lampert, in a post on the Sears Holdings blog, said these closures are part of the company’s strategy to address losses from unprofitable stores and to reduce the square footage of other stores that are too big for the company’s 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.
In May 2016, the company opened a smaller-format concept store in Fort Collins, CO, and another smaller-format store in Pharr, TX. Lampert said the smaller store concept allows the company to focus on some of its stronger categories, complemented with Sears’ Shop Your Way membership program, home services and credit offerings. Additional smaller format stores are expected to open in the coming months, he said.
From a fiscal standpoint, Lampert said the company has made “significant progress” in its restructuring program, adding that Sears Holdings is on track to achieve $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings.
“We also continue to pursue a range of steps to improve our liquidity and reduce our debt,” he said. “We have amended to our existing second lien credit facility to provide up to an additional $500 million in borrowing capacity to Sears Holdings. We also closed on the sale of over $200 million in real estate, which resulted in a pay down of a portion of our real estate loan as well as to reduce the outstanding balance on our revolving credit facility.”