Sears Holdings will close 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores this summer as the retailer continues to look for ways to cut costs and improve profits.
In February, the company said that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores. The closings come after a comprehensive evaluation of the company’s store portfolio that took into account historical and recent store performance, and the timing of lease expirations, Sears Holdings said.
All of the Sears stores and nearly all of the Kmart stores will close in late July; two Kmart stores will close in mid-September. Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” said Edward Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings. “We’re focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation.”
Sears Holdings expects the store closures to generate funds from the liquidation of store inventory and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate. Together with the over $1.2 billion in debt financing that Sears Holdings announced it had raised earlier this month to provide capital to execute its transformation and to meet its financial obligations, the company asserted that it believes it has taken key steps toward its primary 2016 objective to restore profitability.
“Sears Holdings will continue to transform as the role of the store evolves to fit the way that members want to shop,” Lampert said. “Through our continued investments in integrated retail, our stores are a critical component of our strategy as we provide our members with industry-leading innovations such as meet with an expert, in-vehicle pickup and return and exchange in five.”
The closing Kmart and Sears stores will start their liquidation sales on May 12 and April 29, respectively.