April 4 (UPI) -- After years of closing stores nationwide and declaring bankruptcy, retailer Sears said Thursday it plans to open three new stores in May that will focus on what it calls "hardline goods."
The new Sears Home & Life stores will be smaller than the old "big box" buildings it's been known for in the past. The company said the locations will concentrate on products like appliances, beds, tools and gardening equipment.
Locations will open in Anchorage, Alaska; Lafayette, La.; and the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan.
"The exciting new Sears Home & Life stores will carry power categories where Sears has a real strength: appliances, mattresses and our home services business," Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart and president of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands, said a statement.
"We are here to serve these communities and this is part of our strategy to maintain a presence in markets where we have right-sized our footprint. Sears Home & Life supports our strategic plan to become a stronger, more profitable business and these test stores will enable us to learn and improve as we move forward."
The store sizes will range from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, Sears said. Reorders for the Kenmore brand can also be made on Amazon. Sears and Amazon joined forces in 2017 to sell appliances enabled by Alexa and then full-service tire installation for orders from all tire brands.
In January, ESL Investments, a hedge fund owned by Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert, won the assets to Sears in its bankruptcy auction for $5.2 billion, which included its 425 remaining stories, home service business and its Kenmore and DieHard brands. A judge in February approved the bankruptcy plan.
Sears has been called Transform Holdco since the bankruptcy until the company announces a new name.