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Sears will close 63 more stores

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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. has identified 100 unprofitable stores and will shutter 63 of them in early September. Liquidation sales at 48 Sears outlets and 15 Kmarts will begin as early as June 14.

The company announced the closings while reporting its first quarter results, which included a drop of more than 30% in sales from a year earlier, from $4.20 billion to $2.89 billion. About two-thirds of the decline came from earlier store closures.

“We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted,” the retailer said in a statement.

Same-store sales in the quarter ended May 5 dropped 11.9%. Comparable-store sales sank 13.4% at Sears and 9.5% at Kmart. Same-store sales were up at both chains in the apparel, footwear and jewelry categories.

Sears and Kmart operated 894 stores at the end of the quarter, 381 fewer than it did a year earlier. In January the struggling retailer had announced the shuttering of 64 Kmarts and 39 Sears stores, adding to hundreds of closures over the past few years.

Sears lost $424 million, or $3.93 per share, in the quarter. It earned $245 million, or $2.29 per share, in the year-ago period, which included a $492 million gain from the sale of the Craftsman brand.

The company ended the quarter with $466 million in its cash reserves, after ending its last fiscal year with $336 million.


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