As many stores reconsider their financial holdings and how to make a space in the e-commerce dominated market, several have chosen to close stores.
After Walgreens announced 200 U.S. location store closures, Kmart and Sears will add 26 more to the growing list of 7,000-plus store closures for 2019.
In a statement, Sears said it’s worked hard to strengthen its vendor relations, return inventory levels to normal and improve customer satisfaction, but has faced challenges due to the relatively weak retail environment.
“These challenges have unfortunately affected our performance and limited our strategic choices,” Sears said in a statement. “After careful review, we believe the right course for the company is to accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats, which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores after the Sears Hometown and Outlet transaction closes.”
Sears continued that it would close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October, according to the company’s statement. Sears said 21 Sears locations will close, and five Kmart stores will shut their doors.
“The Sears Auto Centers at any of these stores will close in late August,” Sears said in a statement. “Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin around Aug. 15.”
The company will close two California Kmarts, located in Redlands and Desert Hot Springs, one location in Palmer, Massachusetts, one location in Jamestown New York, one location in Guayama, Puerto Rico. The 21 Sears locations are spread across 15 states, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Sears said it will offer current employees at these locations “the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees of Sears Holdings Corporations prior to that company’s Chapter 11 filing in Oct. 2018.”
“Following these steps, we will continue to evaluate our network of Sears and Kmart stores and cannot rule out additional store closures in the near term,” Sears said in a statement. “Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”
According to Business insider after Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, Eddie Lampert purchased the company in February 2019. Business Insider reported that hundreds of Sears stores have closed.
After sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, the store closed 142 Kmart and Sears locations. The company had 687 Kmart and Sears stores remaining before these closures, USA Today reported back in October.