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Retail Crisis: Sears plans to close a staggering number of stores

It’s no secret that the iconic American brand Sears Holdings (SHLD) is struggling to survive in an era that is dominated by Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN). The retailer is exploring all avenues to ensure its survival. As bankruptcy fear mounted, the retailer is seen accelerating its downsizing initiative. This week, the company decided to fold up close to 70 stores.

In its latest announcement, Sears, which also operates Kmart and Sears stores, said it picked some non-profitable stores which tallied to 100 out of which it has decided to shut down 72 stores.  The downsizing strategy has left the company with just 894 stores, out of which 72 is expected to close later this year. In the last 12 months, the retailer has closed over 400 stores.

As bankruptcy fear mounted, the retailer is seen accelerating its downsizing initiative. This week, the company decided to fold up close to 70 stores.

According to analyst Bill Dreher of Susquehanna International Group, the total store closure represents roughly 8% of the company’s remaining stores.

In the first-quarter release, CEO Edward Lampert said, the company is looking to sell more its businesses, including Kenmore, and are working towards gaining momentum around its new smaller store formats.  The company hopes that these initiatives would strengthen the company’s position over the period.

The company’s struggle with sales even continued in its latest first quarter. Total sales fell to $2.8 billion from $4.2 billion in the prior year. Previous store closures led to almost two-thirds of the decline. Total comparable store sales declined 11.9 %. 
The company reported a net loss of $3.93 a share, compared with a profit of $2.29 a share, a year earlier.

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