HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (WQOW) – Officials with Sears Holdings Company announced plans to close nearly 80 Kmart and Sears stores around the country that they say are unprofitable.
The list includes one Wisconsin store – the Kmart store at 1275 Bell Ave. in Hartford, about 45 minutes northwest of Milwaukee.
The company announced its plans to accelerate the closing of unprofitable back in February. Officials say they conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the company's store portfolio that took several factors into account, including the timing of when leases at the stores expire and the historical & recent performances of each store.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, in a press release. “We're focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation.”
The company predicts that “a meaningful level of cash” will come from liquidating the stores' inventory and selling or subleasing some of the related real estate.
Officials say all 10 of the affected Sears stores will close in late July along with all but two of the 68 Kmart stores affected. The other two will close in mid-September.
Eligible employees from the stores that will be closed will receive severance and the opportunity to apply for open positions at nearby Kmart or Sears stores.
The liquidation sales for the affected stores will be on April 29th (Sears) and May 12th (Kmart). Find the full list of affected stores and more information about the closures here.