Sears Will Close 103 Stores in the First Half of 2018

Sears Holdings announced Thursday that it will close another 103 stores—both Kmart and Sears units—in 2018.

In a press release distributed Thursday, the company said it informed workers at 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores that their locations will be closing between early March and early April 2018.

“We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members,” the company said in the same statement.

This language closely echoes the statement issued with their November 2017 announcement of 63 store closings to take place by the end of this month, as well as an earlier list of 43 stores—eight Kmarts and 35 Sears locations—that were to be shuttered by the end of October last year.

It wasn’t clear from the release how many employees will lose their jobs in this latest wave of contraction, but it said eligible sales associates at the affected locations will receive severance packages and can apply for open positions at other Kmart or Sears stores near them.

Merchandise liquidation sales will begin as early as January 12.

The company has been testing out smaller-format stores and shop-in-shop formats recently: “Innovative smaller-format stores continue to showcase our company’s unique integrated retail capabilities by combining new technology, our strongest categories, and in-store experts,” Rob Riecker, CFO of Sears Holdings, said on a recent conference call.

Sears Holdings had a better-than-expected fiscal third quarter; the company reported a net loss of $558 million compared to a net loss of $748 million for the third quarter of 2016 (an improvement of $190 million). But the troubled retailer has multimillions in loan payments due next year, which is one of the reasons it made yesterday’s list of retailers who could file for bankruptcy in 2018.

See the full list of Sears and Kmart store closings here.

Photo courtesy of Sears Holdings

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JCK Magazine Editor