Sears is closing 72 more stores

Sears is closing 72 more stores

"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", the company said in a press release.

Sears said it identified 100 non-profitable Sears and Kmart stores and picked 72 for closure "in the near future".

Sears, the struggling department store chain, said Thursday, May 31, it would close another 72 Sears and Kmart stores as sales plummeted, continuing the decline of what was once the country's largest retailer. Sales have fallen for more than six straight years despite efforts to revamp stores, stock more mattresses and appliances, and partner with sites like Amazon.

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

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. "By diminishing the quality of the in-store experience, Sears has basically trained consumers to avoid going inside".

Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert, who combined Sears and Kmart in 2005 after helping to bring the latter out of bankruptcy, has long pledged to save the famed retailer, which started in the 1880s as a mail-order catalog business. A Sears Auto Center in Strongsville is also scheduled to close in July. Last year, it sold its Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc (SWK.N) for $900 million.

Shares are down more than 90 percent from five years ago, when they were trading at $36.83.

The net loss attributable to the company was $424 million, or $3.93 per share, in its fiscal first quarter, ended May 5, compared with a profit of $245 million, or $2.29 per share, a year earlier.

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