Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Business | By Jorge Reeves

Kmart to close midstate store

Kmart to close midstate store

Sears Holdings is closing an additional 20 money-losing stores, a sign of the mounting problems faced by the iconic but troubled retailer. If a store is "unprofitable as defined" in the agreement between the companies, Sears has the option to exit the lease by making a payment equal to one year of rent, a Sears spokesman told CNBC. The specific timing of the store closings has not yet been finalised.

The long-struggling department store retailer said it expects to close 59 of its 225 stores and cut 2,900 of its approximately 17,000 workers as part of its restructuring.

Headquartered in Toronto, Sears Canada operates 225 stores in all, including 95 department stores and 65 Sears Hometown stores.

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The Sears inside the Rhode Island Mall is the latest location to close.

But Sears, along with Macy's and J.C. Penney, are "future-proofing their offerings by closing stores", according to a new report from retail think tank Fung Global Retail & Technology. A list of the stores that the Company anticipates closing is included with this announcement.

Following an application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) yesterday, shares have halted in the company after it was granted court protection from its creditors in a bid to restructure.

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The final closure date in the Sault hasn't been determined, but a corporate spokesperson said plans are in place to help employees here with resumes and make contacts with other retailers "during liquidation".

The company acknowledged in March that there was "substantial doubt" it would survive on its own, though CEO Eddie Lampert has since blasted critics and said Sears is "fighting like hell" to carry on.

Seritage is a real estate company that was created by Lampert in 2015 in order to buy Sears Holdings properties and then lease them back to the retailer to free up cash. Another 45.3% of the stock is owned by an investment fund controlled by Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert.

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