Kmart closing stores at several locations across the United States, Sears Holdings Corp said. The Kmart move is part of an annual review of its store network and ongoing efforts by the struggling retailer to cut costs, according to New York Times.
“We are going to be closing some Kmart and Sears stores in various cities across the country. It is a very small percentage of our overall number of stores,” said company spokesman Howard Riefs. The stores closing are in Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, California, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Idaho, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Minnesota.
“Every year we evaluate our store portfolio and make changes based on leases or stores with poor performance,” he said. Riefs added that the closures would be primarily Kmart stores.
The list of the Kmart stores closing by March and April 2016 are as follows:
- March 2016: Honolulu, HI
- March 2016: Lutz and Daytona, Florida
- March 2016: Cleveland, TN
- April 2016: Citrus Heights, Chula Vista, and San Mateo, CA
- April 2016: Ottumwa, IA
- April 2016: Mitchell and Pierre, SD
- April 2016: Topeka, KS
- April 2016: Pocatello, ID
- April 2016: Logan, ID
- April 2016: Superior, WI; Virginia and Ironwood, MN
Sears Holdings owns the Sears department store and Kmart discount store chains. It had 952 Kmart stores and 735 Sears stores as of the end of October, according to its latest financial disclsoure.
Sears, a traditional bricks-and-mortar retailer, has been trying to reduce its physical footprint as demand shifts online. Rival department store Macy’s Inc, which has been hurt by weak demand for winter apparel due to unusually warm weather, recently announced the planned closure of 36 stores.
Last month Sears also cited sluggish apparel sales in reporting that revenue at stores open more than a year fell 9.6 percent at Sears and 7.5 percent at Kmart in the fiscal third quarter, though its loss narrowed due to cost cuts. Sears will likely report its fourth-quarter results, which include the crucial year-end holiday shopping season, in late February. It has not yet decided on the exact date, Riefs said.
The retailer’s liquidation will begin on Jan. 24 and continue through April. Eligible employees will receive severance and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at local Sears or Kmart stores.
Kmart and Sears stores have been struggling over the last couple of years. In late 2011, Sears Holdings Company announced the shut down of more than 80 Kmart and Sears stores nationwide. Riefs says Kmart will continue to work with customers who have current layaway contracts.
The closing Kmart stores is only a small percentage, but it doesn’t come as a surprise. Each year the company determines where to cut costs. The last crucial year of Kmart closings were in 2011.