The cost-cutting strategy continues at Sears with another 63 stores targeted for closure early next year.
Emblematic of the struggle facing U.S. department stores, Sears Holdings has already closed more than 350 Sears and Kmart stores this year. An additional 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will be closing in late January 2018, the company said Thursday.
“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size," the company said in a statement. "In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members."
More: Is Sears circling the drain? Not yet, Wall Street says
The 63 stores will remain open during the holiday season and employees at the closing stores will get severance pay and an opportunity to apply for other jobs within the retail chains. "Liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 at these closing stores," the company said.
The retail industry s reeling as a growing number of shoppers do their buying online and e-commerce giant Amazon becomes the go-to for many consumers. But the decline of Sears has been particularly stark.
The iconic store chain, whose goods once filled American households from the garage to the living room, has struggled to remain relevant as shoppers increasingly bypass it to head to big box giants like Walmart, or specialty retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot instead.
In March, Sears said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business unless it could borrow more and generate additional cash from its assets. However, the notification was required because of a rule change that mandated businesses be more transparent about potential risks they face within a year of their reported financial statements. Independent auditor Deloitte said at the time that it believed Sears Holdings was still viable.
The company has initiated a turnaround plan this year that aims to slash $1 billion in costs annually, and cut the company's debt by $1.5 billion. Shedding low-performing stores has been key to the restructuring, but Sears also sold Craftsman, one of its most valuable brands, to Stanley Black & Decker for roughly $900 million.
In another move that could boost the company's balance sheet, Sears announced in July an agreement to sell its Kenmore appliance brand on Amazon. And the company has been increasing the perks available to its most frequent shoppers.
Just this week, Sears and Kmart launched a nearly month-long sale for members of its "Shop Your Way'' loyalty program to woo customers during the all-important holiday period. Sears shoppers will get discounts ranging from 10% to 50%, and Kmart shoppers will see sales of 10% to 40% on all items through Nov. 25.
Some of the changes, while not increasing profits, do appear to be stemming the financial bleeding. While the company reported a net loss of $251 million for its second quarter that ended July 29, that was down from a loss of $395 million during the same period last year, and also beat S&P analysts projection of $266 million.
Still, there are continuing signs that Sears is no longer the dominant player it once was. Last month, it announced that for the first time in more than 100 years, it would no longer sell Whirlpool appliances because the two companies could not reach an agreement on price.
Here's a list of the stores set to close in January 2018:
Kmart, 7200 Us Highway 431, Albertville
Sears, 1701 Mcfarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa*
Kmart, 1214 E Florence Blvd, Casa Grande
Sears, Fiesta Mall, Mesa*
Sears, 5111 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith*
Sears, 4201 N Shiloh Drive, Fayetteville*
Sears, Greeley Mall, Greeley*
Kmart, 26996 Us Hwy 19 N, Clearwater
Kmart, 6050 Highway 90, Milton
Kmart, 901 Us 27 North, Sebring
Kmart, 156 Tom Hill Senior Blvd, Macon
Kmart, 144 Virginia Ave South, Tifton
Kmart, 1203 Cleveland Rd., Dalton
Sears, 8020 Mall Pkwy, Lithonia*
Sears, 1709 Baytree Road, Valdosta*
Kmart, 3101 East 17Th St. Ammon
Kmart, 1006 N Keller Drive, Effingham
Kmart, 2606 Zion Road, Henderson
Kmart, 230 L Roger Wells Blvd., Glasgow
Kmart, 501 Marsailles Road, Versailles
Kmart, 1300 Us Hwy 127 S., Frankfort
Sears, 7885 Eastern Blvd., Baltimore*
Sears, Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro (Pittsfield)*
Kmart, 41601 Garfield Road, Clinton Twp
Kmart, 200 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek
Kmart, 2125 S Mission St., Mt Pleasant
Kmart, 1547 Highway 59 South, Thief River Falls
Kmart, 2233 N Westwood Blvd., Poplar Bluff
Kmart, 16200 East Us Hwy 24, Independence
Kmart, 1400 S Limit Avenue, Sedalia
Kmart, 3901 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis
Sears, 1200 Us Rt 22, Phillipsburg*
Kmart, 1130 Henderson Drive, Jacksonville
Kmart, 14901 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland
Kmart, 2830 Navarre Road, Oregon
Kmart, 4475 Mahoning Ave, Austintown
Kmart, 1249 North High Street, Hillsboro
Kmart, 1292 Indiana Avenue, St. Marys
Kmart, 3382 Birney Plaza, Moosic
Kmart, 2830 Gracy Center Way, Moon Township / Coraopolis
Kmart, 3319 North Susquehanna Trail, Shamokin Dam
Kmart, 22631 Route 68, Clarion
Sears, 2999 E College Avenue, State College
Sears, 300 Lycoming Mall Circle, Pennsdale/Muncy*
Sears, 2334 Oakland Ave, Indiana*
Kmart, 1815 6 Ave SE, Aberdeen
Kmart, 530 Donelson Pike, Nashville
Kmart, 560 South Jefferson Avenue, Cookeville
Kmart, 1806 N Jackson Street, Tullahoma
Kmart, 4520 W 7 St., Texarkana
Sears, 4000 Sunset Mall, San Angelo
Sears, 4600 S Medford Dr., Lufkin*
Sears, 754 S State Street, Salt Lake City*
Kmart, 4715 Nine Mile Road, Richmond
Kmart, 300 Towne Centre Drive, Abingdon
Kmart, 3311 Riverside Drive, Danville
Kmart, 2315 Wards Road, Lynchburg
Sears, 114 Southpark Circle, Colonial Heights*
Kmart, 111 Division St North, Stevens Point
Kmart, 800 Grand Central Avenue, Vienna
Kmart, 1287 Winchester Avenue, Martinsburg
Kmart, 301 Beckley Plaza, Beckley
Sears, 1400 Del Range Blvd., Cheyenne
*The Sears Auto Center at these stores will close in early December 2017 and the store itself will close in late January 2018.
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