Sears to close 96 more stores; gets cash lifeline

Daniel Fowler
November 8, 2019

Fifty-one Sears stores and another 45 Kmart locations will soon be closing across the country, according to Transformco, the company that acquired the beleaguered retailers out of bankruptcy.

"We will continue to evaluate our Sears and Kmart footprint, consistent with our overall retail and service strategy", the company's release added. This announcement comes less than a year after more than 200 Sears and Kmart locations closed.

Transformco said the new closings will not affect Sears Hometown stores, a spin-off chain that specializes in home appliances, equipment and tools. The closing locations will have going out of business sales starting on December 2.

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The Santa Maria Valley Chamber says it was "disappointed" to learn Sears would be leaving the city and will work to help employees affected by the closure find new jobs and also identify new potential tenants for the vacated space.

In addition to Wilkes-Barre Township and Berwick, the compant plans to close three other Pennsylvania Kmart stores - in Ephrata, Lebanon and Williamsport - as well as Sears stores in North Wales and Whitehall.

Sears and Kmart have been struggling in recent weeks to keep pace with competition from Amazon, as well as other box retailers quick to adopt technology, such as Walmart. If nothing else, Transformco said in its Thursday statement it expects to "realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate".

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