Sears Holdings Corporation, the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based holding company of Sears and Kmart, has announced a new round of store closures. The company will have 63 fewer store locations by the end of July, of which 25 are in the Midwest.
The company had initially announced 72 closures, but “a small group of stores was pulled from the closing list … as they are being evaluated further,” according to a statement from Sears. All of these stores were part of a review of 100 non-profitable locations.
The soon-to-be-shuttered locations include three Midwest Kmart stores: Rockford, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa and Duluth, Minnesota. The 22 Midwest Sears locations are Aurora, Gurnee, Springfield and Vernon Hills in Illinois; Lafayette, Muncie and Indianapolis, Indiana; Davenport, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; Dearborn, Flint, Sterling Heights and Traverse City in Michigan; Brooklyn Center and Duluth, Minnesota; Chesterfield and St. Louis in Missouri; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Lima and Strongsville, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Knoxville, Tennessee.
“We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted,” Sears said in a statement.
Sears was the Amazon of its day, virtually monopolizing the retail industry with its mail order catalogs. In fact, the company was the largest retailer in terms of U.S. revenue until being surpassed in 1989 by Walmart.
A merger with post-bankruptcy Kmart in 2005 was supposed to buoy both retail brands, but Sears Holdings has operated in the red every year since 2011. Periodic cash infusions from president and CEO, Edward Lampert, have kept the company on life support.
Sears and Kmart have been among the hardest-hit retailers in the e-commerce era. Between the two brands, 381 locations have closed between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018. This includes the 64 Kmart and 39 Sears store closings that were announced in January. The store closures announced today will bring Sears and Kmart locations to about 830 stores, down from roughly 2,000 locations five years ago.