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article imageAs sales plunge and losses mount — Sears to close 72 more stores

By Karen Graham     May 31, 2018 in Business
On Thursday, Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart, announced that it has identified 100 non-profitable stores and that it would be closing 72 of these locations “in the near future.”
In 2005, when Sears merged with Kmart stores, the two chains had a total of 3,500 U.S. stores. In the last 12 months, Sears Holdings has closed nearly 400 stores, leaving a total of 894 left before it closes an additional 72 stores in the next couple of months.
Sears said the company will post a list of the store closings later today with liquidation sales coming soon. Other store closings will be announced at a later date.
In a summary of its first-quarter financial report ending May 5, 2018, Sears Holdings reported a net loss attributable to Holdings' shareholders of $424 million ($3.93 loss per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2018. Overall revenue fell 31 percent in the three months ending May 5.
While most of that decline was due to previous store closings, sales fell 12 percent at the stores that remained open. The holding company that owns Sears and Kmart has lost more than $11.2 billion since 2010, its last profitable year.
Sears is also looking to sell its Kenmore brand in an effort to raise some ready cash after selling off its Craftsman brand last year.
This latest round of closings comes just two weeks after the company announced it would be closing 40 other stores in 24 states. The stores on this list are slated to close in July and August.
It is apparent that Sears is going to be another victim of the so-called “retail apocalypse." It has already been the death of stores like Toys R Us and Sports Authority, to mention just two. But aging business models and increased competition from dollar stores, home improvement chains and the always present Amazon and Wal-Mart are hard to contend with today.
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