Sears announced Friday that they will continue with their cost-cutting strategies by closing another 63 stores, starting early in 2018.
According to USA Today, Sears has already closed more than 350 stores and Kmart stores across the United States in 2017 alone, and these latest measures include 45 Kmart-store closings.
“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,” Sears 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,” the statement continued.
All stores that are slated to close will remain open for the holiday season. The employees of those stores will receive severance pay as well as an opportunity for other jobs within the retail chains.
“Liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 at these closing stores,” the company said.
The question remains, why all the brick-and-mortar store closings? Pundits suggest that more shoppers are turning to online sales. Amazon, for example, has become the main stop for many consumers. The golden years of Sears, when their products filled households across the United States, may seem to be ending, as consumers who still prefer a physical store to an online one are bypassing Sears in favor of Walmart, Best Buy or Home Depot.
According to CNBC, Sears shares were falling about 3 percent Friday morning, and are down more than 40 percent in 2017.
The company is determined to hold on for as long as they can. Though last spring Sears had told the Securities and Exchange Commission it had “substantial doubt” that it could stay in business unless it could borrow more money and generate cash from its assets, the company has since laid out a plan to cut costs by $1 billion, and its debt by $1.5 billion.
The purpose of the store closings is meant to restructure the company to make it more efficient. Another measure it has taken to generate cash came when it sold its popular Craftsman tool lines to Stanley Black & Decker for around $900 million earlier this year.
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