- Sears, once the world’s largest retailer, had more than 3,500 US stores under its Sears and Kmart banners in 2010.
- Over the last 10 years, the department-store chain has closed more than 3,000 locations as sales tumbled from $US43 billion in 2010 to less than $US17 billion in 2017.
- By February, the company will have 182 stores remaining in operation.
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Sears, once the world’s largest retailer, anchored hundreds of shopping malls 10 years ago with more than 3,500 US stores under its Sears and Kmart banners.
Now, as Sears enters its 126th holiday shopping season, the company is struggling to stay afloat and some parts of the country are devoid of Sears and Kmart stores for hundreds of miles.
Over the last 10 years, the department-store chain has closed more than 3,000 locations as sales tumbled from $US43 billion in 2010 to less than $US17 billion in 2017, the last year that the company publicly reported its annual sales.
Sears filed for bankruptcy in October 2018 with under 700 stores and 68,000 employees remaining.
The company’s former CEO, Eddie Lampert, purchased the company out of bankruptcy four months later through Transformco, a subsidiary of Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments.
The deal would keep about 45,000 workers employed at roughly 425 Sears and Kmart stores, the company said at the time.
The most recent round of corporate layoffs, impacting roughly 300 workers, was carried out one week after Transformco said it would close nearly 100 stores by February.
After that round of closures, 182 Sears and Kmart stores will remain in operation.
“We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors,” the company said in a recent statement. “We will endeavour to create and deliver value through a strategic combination of our better performing retail stores and our service businesses, brands and other assets, and expect to realise a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate.”
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