77 Sears, Kmart stores closing, 5300 jobs cut, all before Christmas: Report

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Sears is closing 77 Sears and Kmart stores and cutting 5,300 jobs. And that’s not even the worst news.

The fact that most of these stores will close before Christmas is akin to raising a white flag, since holiday sales are the lynchpin for any retailer’s entire year.

“They’re not giving anybody confidence that they’re going to be around long-term,” said Allan Ellinger is senior managing partner at MMG Advisors, an investment bank that specializes in fashion and retailing. “It’s sad, these were once among the industry’s leading brands.”

Even the stores that won’t close until after the holidays are already holding going out of business sales rather than gearing up for seasonal promotions.

Fitch recently downgraded Sears Holdings to just above default status, suggesting the company may not have cash to continue beyond 2016. Standard & Poor’s may do the same. S&P analyst Toby Crabtree said the company’s cash crunch is worse than he had anticipated, and that it’s closing more stores than he had expected it to before the end of the year.

The store closing list was first compiled by the web site Seeking Alpha, and confirmed by local news reports in the affected communities. A Sears spokesman declined to comment on the list except to say that the company has notified store employees.

“We stated in our second quarter earnings that we would be closing unprofitable stores as leases expire and in some cases will accelerate closings when it is economically prudent,” said spokesman Howard Riefs. “If a store is not generating a profit, it is straightforward that the store should be considered for closure.”

Forty six Kmart stores will close while the Sears brand will shutter 31 locations, including those that have both a Sears store and Sears auto.

The company reported that it had nearly 1,900 U.S. stores between the two brands as of the end of August, down 166 from a year earlier.

 

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12 comments

      • Karen

        Thank you Pixelologist. Sears/Kmart has been in a downward spiral for years. Has absolutely nothing to do with Obama or the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (which happens to be based almost completely on Mitt Romney’s healthcare initiative of 2012 for Massachusetts)
        Sometimes ignorance knows no boundaries.

    • Dar

      Just a note to let you know, the CEO Edward Lampert is the one that is closing out these stores I worked for Kmart Corporation for 20 years and went thru the whole merging of Sears and Kmart. Eddie bought us out of bankruptcy then sold off the non profitable stores. With those moneys he bought Sears and merged us. He is a real estate investor, like the movie Pretty Women! He will sell all stores that he can profit from, I know this because I worked for a store that was top of sales for Black Friday, and Christmas of all of the Sears Holding stores. The store I’m talking about was liquidated everything from the fixtures and merchandise went. The new retailer that came in remodeled the place, I even got a job there. The investment was too good of a deal to pass up and that’s what is happening to all the Kmart and Sears Stores. It’s all about the money. I heard some people say that he want’s to be bigger than Warren Buffett

  • Vicki White

    I am not surprised-I work for Kmart and the stores have not been upgraded since the early 1990s. I see competitors like Target, Kohls, and yes, the Evil Empire Wal Mart, and they all do some sort of renovations every few years in order to keep the store fresh and fun for the customers. Kmart looks like a flea market or a liquidator store. It;s a shame, because Kmart has some nice stuff. I read an article a few years ago in which it was stated that Eddie boy would not invest in the stores because he wanted to turn the stores into an internet entity. not everyone likes to shop online. I do both, but there are certain things (such as apparel) that are best bought in a store, where you can try them on.

  • Ronnie Beasley

    I just wanted to know which stores in Chicago are closing, I enjoy shopping at Kmart, and just wanted to take advantage of the store closing sales, thank you