Sears Holdings announces plans to close 78 stores
In February, the company said that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores.
This announcement follows a comprehensive evaluation of the company's store portfolio that took into account historical and recent store performance, and the timing of lease expirations. 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.
"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 S. Lampert, chairman and chief executive officer 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 a meaningful level of cash 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 believes it has taken important steps toward its primary 2016 objective to restore profitability.
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. ■