At least 100 Sears, Kmart stores will shutter

From left: the Astor Place and Penn Station Kmarts
Poor holiday sales has compelled Sears Holdings to shutter between 100 and 120 of its 4,000 Sears and Kmart stores across North America, the Associated Press reported. Stores open at least a year generated 5.2 percent less revenue this quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season, than they did a year ago.

While the struggling economy and pressure from competition, from the likes of Macy’s, Target and Walmart, have hurt the retailer, analysts said Sears’ unwillingness to renovate its stores delivered a punishing blow.

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“There’s no reason to go to Sears,” said New York-based independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi. “It offers a depressing shopping experience and uncompetitive prices.”

Sears said the closures mean the company will stop artificially propping up its weaker outlets and focus investments on its successful stores. The retailer cut its earnings expectations in half, according to the AP, but said it expects to generate significant cash from the sale or sublease of its real estate holdings.

There are no Sears stores in Manhattan, according to the retailer’s website, but there are two Manhattan Kmarts: one near Penn Station and the other on Astor Place. Sears Holdings would not specify which stores were closing but said it would release the list on its corporate website. [AP via HuffPo]