Sears Store Closures This Year Cross 350
One of America’s largest department store chains is continuing to struggle to stay afloat. Sears Holdings Corp has announced in its latest quarterly call that the company will be closing another 28 Kmart stores later this year.
Sears Holdings released its second-quarter results on Thursday, and once again it reported declining sales. The retailer reported a net loss of $251.0 million for its second quarter of this year, which was, however, an improvement from the same quarter a year ago, when it reported a loss of $395.0 million.
The company is facing declining foot traffic at its stores, making it unprofitable to operate many of its physical locations. Consequently, Sears has been shuttering its underperforming stores in a restructuring effort to save costs.
The latest store closures add to the list of 330 store closures announced earlier in the year, of which 180 stores have already been closed. Another 150 stores are expected to close by the end of the third quarter.
Just last month, the company had announced closures of 43 stores, including 35 Kmart stores and eight Sears stores.
The company says it is already starting to see improvements in its operations as it becomes more efficient following the closure of underperforming stores.
Sears is on track to achieve $1.25 billion in annual savings as part of its restructuring initiative, which includes closures of underperforming stores, as well as the streamlining of its organizational structure—both of which have resulted in hundreds of layoffs companywide.
Sears CEO Edward Lampert is making an effort to bring the company back on track to profitability after indicating that the retailer was facing “significant doubts” about its future.
The shift in American retail toward using digital channels to attract the growing number of online shoppers is beginning to hurt brick-and-mortar retailers, as they struggle to adapt to the changing times.
Just five years ago, Sears operated as many as 1,305 Kmart stores and 867 Sears stores across the country. That number has significantly dropped to just 619 Sears stores and 610 Kmart stores in the most recent quarter.
“Sears Holdings Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results And Provides An Update On Recent Liquidity And Strategic Actions,” Sears Holdings Corp, August 24, 2017.