Sears is closing 72 stores as sales tumble

Tanya Cunningham
June 1, 2018

Sears is closing its store at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls.

Sears will close another 72 stores, including four in IL, as sales plunge and losses grow.

Liquidation sales at the store will begin on June 14.

On Thursday afternoon, the retail chain announced its location at West Ridge Mall would shutter its doors for good this September. "By diminishing the quality of the in-store experience, Sears has basically trained consumers to avoid going inside".

Sears Holding's CEO and chairman said it had been a "challenging" quarter but that it remained optimistic.

Sales fell 30 percent at Sears during the most recent quarter, leading to a $424 million loss. The Summit store will close to the public in August.

The Eastland Mall store in Bloomington is not on the list.

The struggling retailer said Thursday that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning profits, and 72 of those locations will be shuttered soon.

Chief Executive Officer Edward Lampert has been striving to revive the company by closing unprofitable stores and selling or spinning off assets like its Lands' End clothing unit.

But to meet customer needs and improve financial results, Sears must close poorly performing stores and "focus on our best stores, including our newer smaller-store formats", he said, according to a transcript of the call.

"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. Jeff Braun said he was reminded of that recently when he found and used his grandfather's 70-year-old Sears table vise.

In April, Lampert proposed that ESL Investments purchase Sears' Kenmore brand, its home-improvement business, its Parts Direct division, and some of the company's real estate.

Sears also has made deals with Amazon.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, tumbled 11.9 percent.

"He passed away years ago, but we still remember him though stuff like that; and Sears, in a way, is a connection that way to the family", he said.

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