45 Kmart, 18 Sears stores to close in January

By Allen Cone  |  Nov. 4, 2017 at 10:35 AM
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Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Sears Holdings plans to close 63 more stores in late January, continuing its recent continued cost-cutting measures.

The closings include 18 Sears and 45 Kmart stores, the company said in a release that listed the stores to shut their doors.

The company notified employees of the closings Thursday and plans to keep the stores open through the holidays but liquidation could begin as early as next Thursday.

"Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size," the company said in a release. "In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members."

Sears Holdings currently operates 1,250 Sears and Kmart locations.

Earlier this year, Sears closed nearly 350 stores. In 2016, it reported an operating loss of $2.2 billion. Since 2011, Sears had lost more than $10.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In March, Sears reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing "historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Earlier this year, Sears sold its Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker and ended a century-old partnership with Whirlpool. It is selling Kenmore appliances through Amazon.com Inc.

Chief Executive Eddie Lampert, through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc., owns 54 percent of the retailer.

In 2004, Kmart Holding Co. bought Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion and changed its name to Sears Holdings.

Sears was founded in 1886 as a mail ordering catalog company and opened its first retail location in 1925 in Chicago. Sears announced on Oct. 25 the return of the brand's iconic Wish Book, which was discontinued in 2011. It is available online and on its app, and Sears' "best members" will receive a limited 125-page edition printed in the mail and "select other Shop Your Way members" will receive an email inviting them to pick up a copy at their local Sears store.

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