Sears is disputing a report that it’s closing 100 stores and laying off 5,000 employees before the holiday season—but it confirmed more closings are on the way.
The report, in Seeking Alpha, included a detailed list of the Sears and Kmart locations to be closed, naming Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana the hardest hit.
Sears spokesperson Howard Riefs told JCK that “the reported store count and list of closures isn’t accurate,” but declined to be more specific, saying the retailer will update its store count in its third-quarter financial results.
“Adjusting our physical footprint to focus on our best-performing locations is a core component of our transformation,” Riefs said. “While this has resulted in store closures where appropriate—decisions that we do not take lightly—we continue to have a substantial nationwide footprint with a presence in many of the top malls in the country.”
The reports of the layoffs—right before the all-important Christmas season—are a stark indicator of the retailer’s ongoing troubles. The company has already announced it was closing 130 stores in fiscal 2014—a period when it posted a $975 million loss. Chairman Edward Lampert issued a statement calling the results “unacceptable.”
The company recently sold its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada to a hedge fund controlled by Lampert.