Sears announces another round of store closures

(SHLD) said Thursday that it plans to close 72 non-profitable stores, as the retailer continues to struggle with falling sales.

The company said the full list of stores that would be closing will be released later in the day on Thursday.

The company said closing sales for the 63 stores would begin in June, and the stores would close by September.

The company said total revenue for the first quarter was $2.9 billion, down from $4.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago. In the first quarter of 2017, it had reported a net gain of $245 million, but that figure included a gain of $492 million realized from the 2017 sale of the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, tumbled 11.9 percent.

But, Sears Holdings again has announced it will close more stores - this time it will close 63 Sears and Kmart stores.

Those were the only two MA or CT locations included in the closing list.

In January, the retailer announced it was closing 103 stores, including the store at Orland Square Mall. As recently as 2016, there were almost 1,600 Sears and Kmart stores in business throughout the U.S. By the start of 2019, that total could be down to around 1,100.

Beyond e-commerce, a multitude of factors including shifting shopping patterns and habits by an ever-changing consumer base have contributed to hurting Sears store sales, says Rick Scardino, a principal with the Chicago office of Lee & Associates. Amazon began selling Sears's Kenmore brand of ovens, washers and other appliances a year ago.

The company announced recently that shoppers could buy any brand of tires on Amazon.com, have them shipped to a Sears Auto Center and then bring in their vehicle to get them installed.

Attention, Kmart shoppers: Sears Holding, the corporation which operates Sears and Kmart stores, has announced a new set of closures. The stock gained ground in recent weeks after the company said it is once again exploring the sale of its Kenmore appliance brand and other parts of its home services business. Other chains like Walmart, Best Buy and even other department stores like Macy's have posted rosier results. On Thursday, its shares plunged by more than 12 percent to $2.81.

  • Wendy Palmer