Sears Closing Dozens of More Stores

Sears Holdings announced that it would be closing dozens of more stores as sales drop and losses increase.

The beleaguered retailer operates both Sears and Kmart stores and said it identified approximately 100 stores that no longer are turning a profit and most of these stores will be closed soon.

After the current round of store closures, Sears will have approximately 800 of its stores operating, which is down from nearly 1,000 at the end of 2017 and far less than its peak in 2012 of over 4,000 locations.

Sears posted a loss for the recently ended quarter of more than $424 million and announced that store closings that are already underway had contributed to a drop of over 30% in its revenue. Sales drops have not been experienced for five straight years of quarterly earnings.

Sales at its established stores, an important metric for the health of a retailer, fell by 12%, down 8.5% at its Kmart locations and 13.4% at its Sears stores.

The CFO at Sears Rob Riecker said in a call that was prerecorded that the stores were an important component of the company’s transformation.

However, to meet the needs of customers and improve its financial results, the company must close stores that are performing poorly and place focus on its best stores, including the newer smaller store formats, showed a transcript of his call.

The most recent closings underscore problems that are deep-rooted at Sears that at one time was a powerhouse retailer in the U.S. that survived a pair of world wars along with the Great Depression.

One analyst called Sears’ demise a prolonged drip that can be evidenced by a series of quarterly sales figures that continue to drop.

CEO and chairman Edward Lampert, who in 2005 combined Kmart and Sears after helping bring Kmart out of a bankruptcy, has pledged for a long time to save the renowned retailer, which opened its doors for the first time during the 1880s, as just a catalog mail-order business.

However, the stores have become nothing more than an albatross and the well-known appliance brand of the retailer Kenmore became the latest possible sales after the largest shareholder of the company ESL Investments, which Lampert heads, said it may want to buy it.

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