Sears closing 78 stores

Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) continues to reduce its store count, with plans to shutter 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores this summer.

It's the logical outcome of the retailer's announcement in February that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores. This new announcement follows a "comprehensive evaluation of the company's store portfolio that took into account historical and recent store performance, and the timing of lease expirations," according to the company.

All of the Sears stores and nearly all of the Kmart stores will close in late July; two Kmart stores will close in mid-September.

"The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability," said Eddie Lampert, chairman and CEO. "We're focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation."

Sears expects the store closures to generate a meaningful level of cash through the real estate off-loading and inventory liquidation.

"Sears Holdings will continue to transform as the role of the store evolves to fit the way that members want to shop," Lampert said. "Through our continued investments in integrated retail, our stores are a critical component of our strategy as we provide our members with industry-leading innovations such as Meet with an Expert, In-Vehicle Pickup, and Return and Exchange in Five."

Sears' main strategy has been to grow the Shop Your Way rewards program and roll out various omnichannel initiatives.

For more:
- see this Sears announcement

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