Sears Holdings to Close Another 103 Stores

Sears Holdings Corp announced it would be closing 103 more stores including 39 Sears and 64 Kmart stores that will be shuttered between March and April.

Sears in its statement posted on its official website said it is continuing to close unprofitable locations as it transforms the business model so its physical store footprint and its digital capabilities match the preferences and needs of its members.

The struggling department store operator based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois had announced previously its plans to shut 63 of its locations by the end of January. As of October 28, Sears still operated 594 of its namesake locations and 510 Kmart locations across the U.S., which were 399 fewer locations than the year before.

Liquidation sales at locations being shuttered will start at some on January 12, with others to follow, said the company.

Sears did not say how many of its employees would be affected due to the shuttering of its locations, but the majority of jobs are only part-time positions and all workers who are eligible will be give severance packages, said a spokesperson for the company.

The latest Sears’ store closures come following a year of many cost cutting measures and two deals announced in December that Sears said is to give it more flexibility financially as it enters 2018.

The company paid a loan down by $325 million that was due in the middle of the year and was given an extension to pay the remaining balance of $400 million but said it still had another $752 million left due for 2018.

Sears signed a new agreement that allows it to sell as many as 138 of its properties that will help to finance a contribution of $407 million to the company pension plans. None of the announced closings on Thursday were linked to this pension deal.

Sears was not the sole department store that announced closings on Thursday. Macy’s released information on the planned closures of 11 of its stores during early 2018, which includes seven that had not been included in a group of 100 store closings that were announced during 2016.

The majority of retailers have not yet reported full results for the fourth quarter, but Macy’s said its sales at locations opened 13 months or more were up 1.1% during the holiday shopping season in comparison to the same period one year ago.