"The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step"
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp., the corporate parent of Sears and Kmart stores, announced that it will close 78 stores this summer in its ongoing quest to stem financial losses.
The company plans to close 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores, with most closures occurring by late July, Sears said on Thursday. Earlier, the company said it would close 50 stores as it scrambles to unload underperforming assets.
“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,” Sears Holdings chief executive officer Eddie Lampert said in a statement.
The company is trying to transform itself into a more nimble retailer with a significant online presence. Simultaneously, it has taken a number of measures to shore up its financial stability, in part by putting some of its stores up for sale and subleasing some of its commercial properties.
The closing Kmart and Sears stores will hold liquidation sales starting April 29.
Sears said it expects the closures to generate a “meaningful level of cash,” thanks to inventory liquidation.
Sears Holdings reported a loss of $580 million in the quarter ended January 30, compared with a loss of $159 million in the year-ago quarter. Sears had 941 Kmart and 731 Sears stores in January, down from 1,152 and 828, respectively, three years ago.