Sears to close 100 stores, lay off 5,500 employees

A struggling Sears (NYSE:SHLD) will close more than 100 stores and lay off at least 5,457 employees, many before the holidays.

Sears spokesman Howard Riefs declined to speak to Seeking Alpha about the closings, but Riefs' name appears at the bottom of individual liquidation sales notices. Reports previously sent out to stores and the media reveal that at least 46 Kmart stores, 30 Sears department stores and 31 Sears Auto Centers are scheduled to close before the end of January, reported Seeking Alpha.

The company already closed 75 Kmart and 21 Sears department stores in the first half of the year, reported Reuters. In 2013, Sears shuttered 93 locations.

Revenue at Sears has declined for 30 straight quarters and the retailer reports losses of more than $1.8 billion over the past four quarters.

Last week the retailer announced that it would begin leasing out seven stores, one at Pennsylvania's King of Prussia Mall, to fashion chain Primark. And earlier this month at least one vendor halted shipments to the company amid reports that insurers to vendors are reducing coverage on orders to Sears, all before the holiday season.

In retail, this often indicates the beginning of the end. But Sears contends it has the resources to continue. Last month it announced plans to sell most of its stake in Sears Canada valued at $380 million, and Edward Lampert loaned Sears $400 million from his own hedge fund, ESL Investments.

For more:
-See this Seeking Alpha article
-See this Reuters article

Related stories:
Sears Canada CEO resigns
No bids in Sears Canada auction
Sears launches interactive shops within stores
Sears continues downward spiral, closing 80 more stores
Sears Canada to cut 1,600 jobs as it outsources, restructures

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