WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - More than 20 Sears and Kmart stores across the U.S. will be shuttered in late October, the parent company of the retailers said Tuesday. The closure come just six months after the company emerged from bankruptcy.
TransformCo, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, said in a statement that it will close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October - 5 Kmart stores and 21 Sears stores.
The Sears Auto Centers at these stores will close in late August. The company expects liquidation sales at these stores to begin around August 15.
Commenting about the closure, TransformCo said it faced several challenges to return the stores to sustained levels of productivity. These include differences with Sears Holdings over its purchase agreement and a generally weak retail environment.
The company warned that additional store closures cannot be ruled out in the near term.
Sears Holding filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018. In February this year, Sears Holding Chairman Eddie Lampert won a bankruptcy auction for the struggling department store chain, enabling the 126-year-old retailer to remain open for business.
Lampert's proposal was expected to save up to 45,000 jobs and keep the department store chain's 425 stores open across the U.S. under a new entity, Transform Holdco.
TransformCo noted that eligible associates at the stores being closed will be offered the same severance packages as those given to Sears Holding's employees prior to the company's October 2018 bankruptcy filing.
The company now plans to accelerate the expansion of its smaller store formats. It will open additional Home & Life stores as well as add hundreds of Sears Hometown stores following conclusion of the Sears Hometown and Outlet transactions.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX