Sears Is Closing 28 Kmart Stores and Americans
One of America’s largest department store chains, Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), has announced that it is closing another 28 Kmart stores this year, in addition to the 330 store closures that it already announced earlier this year.
Americans shared their thoughts on social media about the latest round of Kmart store closures. Some lamented the closures in their areas, calling it the end of a glorious era when brick-and-mortar retail bloomed.
Another retail giant era in Topeka ends. Last K-Mart located on Wanamaker Road now scheduled to close per Sears. 😒http://t.co/a6g9CfgDao
— Kimberly Qualls (@kkqtopeka) August 24, 2017
Others jumped straight to finding the real culprits to blame.
It’s understandable why retailers with a strong digital presence are being blamed for Sears’ demise. It is also true that millennials may have greatly played their part in reshaping America’s retail industry. A growing number of American shoppers, particularly those from the younger generations, are no longer interested in heading out specifically for the sake of shopping, when they can spend their free time on other activities such as travelling or using social media.
The younger generations are constantly connected to high-speed Internet via their smartphones and other smart devices. They find it much easier to make their purchases online with a few clicks than to go to physical stores.
Retailers that were quick to see this trend, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), have managed to take bigger shares of the market, leaving behind traditional retailers like Sears, who were slow to adapt. At the same time, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has emerged as the biggest threat to brick-and-mortar retailers as the e-commerce giant continues to increase its hold over America’s digital retail industry.
The consequence of this trend has been obvious as numerous famous names in retail have either filed for bankruptcy or have gone out of business this year. Meanwhile, the surviving retailers are continuing to close underperforming stores as they witness declining foot traffic.
However, the biggest sufferers in the American retail bloodbath have been the workers employed in the industry who have faced thousands of layoffs this year as their employers continue to close more stores. In fact, President Donald Trump went so far as to specifically blame Amazon for the lost jobs.
The trend has naturally not missed the eyes of average Americans. One Facebook user pointed this out in response to the latest store closures, explaining why he believed this was bad news for the economy in general.
Nonetheless, the total store closures announced by Sears has now crossed the 350 mark, of which 180 stores—including both Kmart and Sears—have already closed, while the remaining stores will close through the remaining part of the year.
“Sears Holdings Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results And Provides An Update On Recent Liquidity And Strategic Actions,” Sears Holdings Corp, August 24, 2017.