It has been quite a tough year for Sears—and its subsidiary, Kmart—as the company continues to announce the closure of more stores by the end of the year. In fact, it has only been a few weeks since the company announced a plan to close 26 Kmart or Sears locations in October and they are already expecting a similar move will happen again before the end of the year.
While officials with the company have not yet divulged how many locations will be added to the still-increasing list, many communities across the United States have reported their local stores are shuttering their doors. Actually, many of these communities have posted these closures to the website www.thelayoff.com.
In a written statement, Sears/Kmart public relations director Larry Costello commented, “Liquidation sales are expected to begin in mid-September, and the stores are planned to be closed by mid-December. We encourage customers to continue shopping on Kmart.com for all their product needs.”
All this in mind, it is important to note that former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert tried to keep the brand afloat, striking a last minute deal to keep Sears out of bankruptcy in February. This would have kept roughly 400 stores open, albeit under a new brand name: Transform Holdco (or, more commonly, Transformco).
Not long after, Lampert relinquished his role as CEO when the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. This also meant that the company’s largest shareholder and creditor was out of the picture. Then, in early August, the company revealed first that closures would begin in October and that even more closings were possible.
Of course, we are now seeing that these closures are inevitable.
Still, the company released a statement noting, “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. Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”
It appears the December closures will affect stores in 22 states and Puerto Rico. As a matter of fact, Puerto Rico appears to be suffering the most closures with 6, second only to Pennsylvania, where 11 closures are planned for December. The next highest volume of store closures, by state, is 4; which are expected in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin.