NEW YORK — More than two dozen Sears and Kmart stores are closing, as the company continues to struggle after emerging from bankruptcy.
The parent company of Sears and Kmart, called Transform Co., said Wednesday that it has “faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity. It plans to close five Kmarts and 21 Sears stores across the United States and Puerto Rico.
Liquidation sales will begin in mid-August and the stores will close in late October.
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The company blamed “a generally weak retail environment” for the closures. It also attributed some of the company’s problems to its ongoing court battle with Sears Holdings, the still-bankrupt remnant of the company that used to own Sears and Kmart.
“These challenges have unfortunately affected our performance and limited our strategic choices,” Transform Co. added.
Transform Co. warned more store closures could soon be on the horizon.
“Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve,” it said in a statement.
The company said laid-off employees will be offered the same amount of severance that Sears Holdings gave to employees prior to its October 2018 bankruptcy.
Sears is moving forward on a strategy it believes will revitalize its brand. It plans to “accelerate the expansion” of its smaller-formart stores, Sears Home & Life. They are around 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, rather than the 160,000-square-foot older stores. They don’t sell apparel and instead focus on home goods, including appliances and mattresses.
Transform Co. also plans to add the remaining Sears Hometown and Outlet stores to its portfolio once it completes the purchase of the chain. These stores sell tools, outdoor goods and appliances. Roughly 650 Sears Hometown and Outlet stores remain open.
Sears emerged from bankruptcy in February. A bankruptcy court approved the sale of most of the retailer’s assets to a hedge fund controlled by Eddie Lampert, the company’s chairman, for $5.2 billion. Following the closures, Sears and Kmart will have about 400 remaining stores.
Here’s the full list of Sears and Kmart closures:
Sears: 2500 Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham
Kmart: 1625 W Redlands Blvd., Redlands
Kmart: 14011 Palm Drive Desert, Hot Springs
Sears: Somersville Road, Antioch
Sears: 8501 W Bowles Avenue, Littleton
Sears: 6200 20th Street, Vero Beach
Sears: 901 US 27 North, Sebring
Sears: 3700 Atlanta Hwy Suite 270, Athens
Sears: 5 Stratford Square, Bloomingdale
Sears: 2300 Southlake Mall, Merrillville
Sears: 6501 Grape Rd US 23, Mishawaka
Sears: 6901 Security Sq Blvd, Baltimore
Kmart: 159 Wilbraham Road, Palmer
Sears: 6780 S. Westnedge Avenue, Portage
Sears: 4900 Fashion Square Mall, Saginaw
Sears: 18777 E. 39th St South, Independence
Sears: 3 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, St Peters
Sears: 330 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau
Kmart: 975 Fairmount Avenue, Jamestown
Sears: 600 Richland Mall, Mansfield
Kmart: Highway 3 Plaza, Guayama
Sears: 1101 Melbourne Road, Hurst
Sears: 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Texas City
Sears: 4812 Valley View Blvd NE, Roanoke
Sears: 4700 N. Division Street, Spokane
Sears: 100 Huntington Mall Road, Barboursville