Sears closing more stores; none in Chicago area

SHARE Sears closing more stores; none in Chicago area

Sears Holdings this week announced closings of several Sears stores and auto centers nationwide. No Chicago-area stores are affected.

“We recently announced the closure of a handful of Sears stores. None in the Chicago area,” Sears spokesman Howard Riefs said in anemail.

The Hoffman Estates retailer plans to close a store and auto center near downstate Decatur as well as ones in Milwaukee; Oakland, California; Wichita, Kansas; Owensboro, Kentucky; Marion, Ohio; Great Falls, Montana; and Bluefield, West Virginia.

A complete list of closures and the number of workers affected were not immediately available. The closings announced this week apparently are in addition to the 130 closures announced earlier this year. The stores will begin liquidation sales later this month and are expected to close in early December.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Riefs said in a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

On Monday, Sears announced it was borrowing $400 million from a hedge fund run by CEO Edward Lampert. Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings said the move was a “short-term fix” for a “much larger need” for cash. Last week, Fitch downgraded Sears’ credit rating deeper into junk status citing its declining profits and no clear turnaround plan.

Sears Holdings, which operates the Sears and Kmart chains, in August reported a loss of $573 million for the three months ended Aug. 2, more than double the loss of $194 million a year earlier. It marked its ninth straight quarterly loss.

Revenue declined 10 percent to $8 billion.

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