Apparently, it wasn’t such a white Christmas for Sears (SHLD), as they announced last week that they will be closing more than 100 stores across the country in the next year, including Kmart locations due to poor holiday sales.
Sears is blaming the sagging economy on slow sales, but unfortunately that is in sharp contrast to most other retail outlets, which posted some serious gains over the holiday season. The closures should help the company tighten its belt and reduce it’s overhead. With more than 4,000 stores located around the country, this is seen as a welcome change.
Sears has already released a list of 79 locations that are on the chopping block, with most of the locations in Florida. Though these closings should help Sears in the long-term, there may still be a little bit of trouble for the retailer in the short-term, as Standard and Poor has also expressed an interest in downgrading their credit rating, but so far no action has been taken.
Though most customers have been OK with the changes, several vocal groups are trying to “save” their favorite Sears and Kmart locations. One such group in New Smyrna Beach FL has created a petition that has garnered more than 2,200 signatures. Customers have also been shopping at the store more in a bid to try and convince Sears not to close the location. Thus far, their actions have not changed anyone’s mind, and Sears plans to still go through with all the planned closures.
The rest of the location closures should be announced in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, stock prices have yet to rebound upon news of the planned closures, but as overhead costs start coming down, hopefully their shares will see a bit of a rebound later this year.