Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Massachusetts stores among 72 Sears locations closing due to plunging sales

Massachusetts stores among 72 Sears locations closing due to plunging sales

The company said the nine additional stores that it initially planned to announce would close will be evaluated further.

Sears closed 400 of its namesake and Kmart locations in 2017, and it said it would close around 160 more stores this year before Thursday's announcement.

Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O), the one-time American retail giant, said on Thursday it plans to shutter another 72 locations to stem losses in the face of deepening financial distress and reported a almost 12 percent drop in quarterly comparable-store sales. 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.

Photo of Sears store.

"The demise of Sears has felt like a prolonged, drip, drip, drip", said Mark Hamrick, an analyst for Bankrate.com.

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.

But the stores have remained an albatross.

Sears also has made deals with Amazon.

On Thursday, executives said they were looking into selling the retailer's Kenmore brand of appliances, which has been one of the bright spots in the company's performance.

Shares are down more than three percent before the opening bell. The results from the year-ago quarter included a $492 million benefit related to the sale of Craftsman. Other chains like Walmart, Best Buy and even other department stores like Macy's have posted rosier results.

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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