Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD), owner of Sears and Kmart said it would close another 103 stores early this year. Here is the entire list.
The company commented:
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. 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 company on Thursday, January 4 informed associates at 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores that we will be closing these stores between early March and early April 2018.
Sears has been disintegrating for decades.
Its stock is down 90% over the last five years, while the S&P 500 is up 83%.
24/7 Wall St. recently noted in its “10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2018”:
Kmart’s fate is intertwined with Sears Holdings, its parent company, which was created in 2005. The parent is controlled by CEO and largest shareholder Eddie Lampert.
Barely a month goes by without some forecast of the retail industry that includes the end of Kmart. Recently, however, the outlook for Kmart has become more dire. Ratings agency Moody’s has sharply increased its odds of Sears Holdings going bankrupt. Despite occasional efforts by Lampert to prop up the company’s balance sheet, its sales are plunging so rapidly that even infusions of capital will not provide a safety net.
In the most recent quarter, parent Sears Holdings posted revenue of $3.7 billion, down from $5 billion in the same quarter the year before. Sears Holdings said the lower revenue was the result of pharmacy closures in open Kmart stores, as well as fewer consumer electronics products available in both Kmart and Sears stores. The company reported a loss of $558 million. Kmart same-store sales fell 13%.
This will be Kmart’s last holiday, at least as an independent brand.
The cratering of the Sears brand is not that different from Sears Holdings’ stablemate Kmart. However, Sears is in worse shape. Its same-store sales in its fiscal third quarter fell a breathtaking 17%.
Like other legacy retailers, Sears has been crippled by a crowded bricks-and-mortar industry and the rise of e-commerce, particularly Amazon. While competitors like JC Penney and Macy’s have largely halted their dropping sales, Sears has not come close to a bottom.
Sears’ primary solution to its sales challenge has been to close stores. Most recently, parent company Sears Holdings shuttered 18 Sears locations. The company said it will have to shrink its store count further next year. Some portion of Sears stores could in theory survive a breakup of the company, but the brand is so badly tarnished, it is hard to see the value of it for a new owner.