Sears is Closing 20 Additional Stores
Department store chain Sears Holdings Corp has announced that it will be closing 20 more stores this year, in addition to the hundreds of store closings that it announced earlier in the year.
The company has disclosed that it will be shuttering 18 Sears stores across the country and also closing two Kmart locations. The stores being closed include three in New York, three in Ohio, two in Texas, and two in Maryland.
The 20 stores will begin liquidation sales by end of June, and the locations will close by the middle of September.
The announcement about U.S. stores came a day after the company’s Canadian spin-off, Sears Canada, filed for bankruptcy and announced that it would be closing 59 stores across Canada and laying off nearly 2,900 workers.
The brick-and-mortar retailer has been fighting tooth and nail with online counterparts Amazon.com, Inc. and eBay Inc, which have steered consumers away from traditional in-store shopping toward online shopping.
At the same time, Sears has been competing with other brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corporation that have swiftly moved into the digital space and secured a bigger share of the market.
Sears has been slow in adapting to America’s fast-changing retail landscape that’s briskly going digital. However, company CEO Eddie Lampert, who is also the biggest shareholder of Sears, says that his company has been “fighting like hell.”
The struggling company is now making an effort to reduce its costs in order to improve its bottom line. The retailer has been losing money for years now. Earlier this year, Sears had even indicated that there was “significant doubt” about its future survival in the retail industry.
The store closings and subsequent layoffs are part of the management team’s cost-cutting efforts. Sears has so far shaved off about $1.0 billion in expenses this year, most of which has been a result of the hundreds of store closings.
In addition, the company managed to raise some cash by selling its tools and garden equipment brand “Craftsman” to Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. earlier this year.
With this latest round of store closings, the total number of closures this year has crossed the 260 figure. Sears is now left with a little over 1,100 stores.
“Sears to close 20 more stores as crisis continues,” USA Today, June 23, 2017.
“Sears Canada to close 59 stores, cut 2,900 jobs,” The Globe and Mail, June 22, 2017.