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Sears to close another 72 stores amid falling sales

By Sara Shayanian
Sears to close another 72 stores amid falling sales
Sears announced the closure of 72 stores Thursday after reporting first-quarter losses and declining sales numbers. File photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

May 31 (UPI) -- Sears announced Thursday it plans to close dozens more stores in the United States that are no longer profitable.

The retailer identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning profits, and said 72 of those locations will soon close.

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Sears will reveal the full list of closures later Thursday.

The Chicago-based chain reported a $424 million net loss for the first quarter of 2018 -- a substantial contrast from the $245 million in net income it saw in Q1 last year, when Sears reported gains from the sale of its Craftsman brand.

The company said sales at stores open for at least a year declined by 12 percent overall during the period, including 13.4 percent at Sears locations and 9.5 percent at Kmart stores.

While total store sales declined, both Kmart and Sears experienced positive sales in several categories, including apparel, footwear and jewelry.

"In a challenging quarter, we continued to focus on our strategic transformation, identifying additional opportunities to streamline operations and adjust inventory and operating expenses while staying focused on our Best Members, Best Categories and Best Stores," Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert said.

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Thursday's announcement came as Sears is considering an offer to purchase its Kenmore appliance brand.

Third-party partnerships and gaining "further momentum" around Sears' new smaller store formats will help strengthen the company and better position it for the future, Lampert added.

Sears said in January it would close 39 Sears locations and 64 Kmart stores in addition to dozens more announced last year.

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