Sears to close another 63 US stores

Move comes after 26 consecutive quarters of declining sales

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)
(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Sears Holdings Corporation is set to close another 63 stores as the company attempts to stave off plummeting sales.

While the retail giant has struggled to retain customers who are increasingly heading online to Amazon or seeking out Walmart stores, it has already closed hundreds of stores.

It will close 48 Sears stores, and 15 Kmart stores. The number was decreased from 72 stores reported Thursday morning as a small group remain under evaluation. None of the half dozen Sears stores in New York City are marked for closure, but Florida stores in Tampa and Sanford will close, along with three in Chicago and one in Los Angeles. A Kmart store will shutter in Tampa.

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The most recent quarter marks its 26th consecutive decline in sales. It reported a net loss of $424 million, compared to a profit of $245 million the same time last year.

In 2011, when it posted its last increase in revenue, the company reported $9.4 billion. Merchandise sales fell 34 percent last quarter to $2.2 billion, according to the report. Over a decade ago, Sears shares traded at around $100, but now sit around $3.

The company is considering divesting Kenmore, its white-label products brand, after recently signing a deal to sell the products on Amazon.

The announcement spells a fate reminiscent of other retailers.  Barneys New York, the high-end retailer, is currently in a tense battle with the landlord of its flagship store on Madison Avenue amid demands to triple its rent to $60 million. That store is responsible for about a third of the company’s sales and has experienced declining revenue over the past 10 years. [WSJ] — David Jeans