Sears to close 62 more stores

The company is dropping clothing from 10 locations and looking to shutter some Hometown and Hardware stores.

By Kim Peterson Mar 15, 2012 6:15PM
Image: Sears sign© Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty ImagesSears Holdings (SHLD) already said it would close as many as 120 Sears and Kmart stores this year in an effort to turn the business around. But that wasn't enough.

The struggling retailer said Thursday it will have to tighten its belt even more. Sears is now planning to close 43 Hometown stores, 10 Sears Hardware stores and all nine stores in the Great Indoors chain. Hometown stores are independently operated, and sell hardware in mostly rural areas.

Sears is also getting rid of clothing in 10 Sears stores -- perhaps in a test run for a chain-wide initiative in the future. Instead, those stores will sell more household items such as mattresses and furniture, the Associated Press reports. Shoppers have requested more choices in those areas, the company told the AP.

Sears has been busy with a number of moves designed to stem the bleeding from its bottom line. It's been trying to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores, but the closure of 43 of those may show how well that's going. It's also selling 11 locations to General Growth Properties (GGP).

Scratching clothing from its lineup could be a very good move for Sears. Most people don't shop there for clothes. They might pick up some clothing as an afterthought, but they visit Sears stores for appliances and hardware.

Sears is going to have a harder time competing in clothing and other areas as JCPenney (JCP) completes its transformation into a trendier, more compelling chain. Target (TGT) continues to press forward in clothing, bringing in designer names like Jason Wu and adding in-store boutiques. Sears also has Macy's (M) and Kohls to contend with.

After years of just coasting on "good enough," Sears is finally making some drastic and necessary moves.

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276Comments
Mar 16, 2012 8:46AM
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Meanwhile, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert just bought a $40 million dollar home in Florida. This is a fine example of capitalism of destruction. These people don’t get wealthy by creating net value in anything. They simply figure out ways to use complex financing with funny money to grab a bigger piece of a shrinking pie for themselves. To them, the land of opportunity is a place to rape, pillage, and plunder.

Mar 16, 2012 7:43AM
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when sears started having tools made overseas...I was done with them that instant...
Mar 16, 2012 7:31AM
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I am a taxpayer in the State of Illinois, and the State of Illinois just gave Sears $275 million dollars to keep their headquarters in Illinois and basically to bail them out. Even though I'm a taxpayer and citizen of the state, I didn't get to vote on that idea. Our confused governor and politicians did that and just handed them our money. Lots of other things that money could have been used for in this struggling state. Then Sears proceeded to layoff over 2,000 employee, and add them to the unemployment rolls in Illinois - more expense for us. But even though Sears and Kmart are flailing, CEO Ed Lampert is in the midst of purchasing a $40 million dollar home on a secluded island in Florida. I think this should be a private resort for the taxpayers of Illinois, and I'll really be pissed off the first time I hear that Governor Quinn of Illinois is being wined and dined there. Instead of being in Florida, maybe CEO Lampert should be in Hoffman Estates in Illinois trying to figure out how to save Sears and Kmart from extinction. He's going to Florida to hide. Maybe he should install gun turrets on his private estate in Florida because he is going to need them when all of the former Sears employees start coming after him. Just another disgusting example of corrupt politics in Illinois. We watched Rod Blagojovich walk into prison yesterday. He should have taken about 2,000 of his political cronies along with him because that's where they all deserve to be. I quit shopping at Sears and Kmart, and as soon as my husband retires, we are OUT of this state. This gives a whole new meaning to disgusting. 

Mar 15, 2012 7:40PM
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That is what they get for selling the Kardashian Krap Klothing.
Mar 16, 2012 11:02AM
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Sears CEO makes $7.4 million, but they need to tighten their belts by closing stores and put more people out of work so the fat cats can still live their lifestyle.

Mar 16, 2012 1:15AM
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Bring back the Wish Book.  Bring back the Christmas Catalog. Bring Sears back.  Get out of China.
Mar 16, 2012 8:45AM
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Knew it was the end when they hired the 3 little pigs (Kardashians) to sell underwear.
Mar 15, 2012 10:03PM
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You people better hope and pray that Sears and Kmart survive.  You may hate shopping there and you may have had your problems with them in the past, but if these stores (along with JCPenney, Best Buy, Radio Shack and many others currently in trouble) go the way of Montgomery Wards and Circuit City, you've all lost your freedom of choice of where you shop.  Guess what will be left?....Walmart.  Just Walmart.

Does anyone really want that?  Competition is healthy and I, for one, enjoy choosing where I shop....good or bad choices are better than NO choice at all.  Viva Sears. Viva Kmart.
Mar 16, 2012 10:22AM
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Hopefully that will contribute to the end of the Kardashians.
Mar 15, 2012 8:59PM
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Sears has been in trouble since they hired Arthur Martinez.  They walked away from the catalog business when I was getting catalogs in the mail every day.  They used to sell home improvements, carpeting and furniture, too.  They walked away from any business that was hard to handle instead of making adjustments.  And do you remember how they shot themselves in the foot with the automotive business?  All the bad decisions were made at the top.  They stopped listening to their customers and their employees.  I can tell you a lot a stories, since I worked for them for 27 years, working my way up to Store Manager.  But I took a early buy-out when I saw the writing on the wall.  I sold my Sears stock at a profit, converted my Profit Sharing to an IRA, and accepted a years' pay to leave.  Then I started a new retail career with another company, grew the business and made out very well before retirement.  But getting back to Sears...I remember complaining that lawn mowers were on the front cover on a Mother's Day ad and having dresses on page 4.  And Sears has not sold good, fashionable merchandise which is needed for gross margin in years - Arnold Palmer and Cheryl Tiegs do go out of style.  You don't get gross margin on appliances or hardware.  If the CEO would like me to come out of retirement and talk to him, I'll be glad to do so.  I could get him an $80 million home if he listened.  Sears used to be a brand name, like Craftsman, Kenmore or DieHard.  Read "Catalogs and Counters" if you interested in how the company grew.  It is certainly better reading that than the obituaries!
Mar 16, 2012 3:15AM
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The way Sears is treating their customers it is no wonder that they are having to close stores.  I recently had the following experience.  My water heater broke down and when Sears was contacted regarding the warranty I was told that it was under warranty for an additional 2 years.  I had to call the department to get an authorization to pick one up and was told that the executives had researched it further and had decided that they would not honor the warranty.  I had been told previously that it was, my plumber had been told that it was under warranty but that they were not authorized to replace the water heater.  I had to contact a company with the authorization and they were told three times that the heater was in fact under warranty.  When the heater was to be picked up Sears refused to honor the warranty.  I had to buy a water heater from a different company because as far as I am concerned Sears is no longer in business.  If they continue to treat customers in this manner they might as well close all their stores now.

Mar 15, 2012 6:34PM
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They need to address problems with their customer service first.  It's terrible to say the least.
Mar 16, 2012 11:10AM
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So...I gues the W h o r e dashian underwear line isn't helping Sears?
Mar 15, 2012 10:03PM
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Years ago, I bought all my kids clothes through the Sears Catalog. As I recall, I even bought my first fake Christmas tree from them. I remember setting it up in my dads house once, and a friend sat right next to it and had no idea it wasn't real. I've got a picture in my bedroom of my kids, who at the time were three and four years old, that was taken at Sears. He just turned 43, and she'll be 42 in July.

I bought my last dish washer from them, a Kenmore.. My dad bought the stove that was in his house there. The house was built in 1955, and that old gas stove was working just fine when I remodeled the kitchen in the late nineties.

 

But, in this "new and improved!!" era of corporate greed, there is nothin built to last. There's no sense of pride, just money money money. You younger people truly have my sympathy. You don't stand much of a chance in this world, dominated by rank CEO's and their politicians. Fight back any way you can guys. I'd say first on the list is to stay outta Walmart, as much as you can. Check your local appliance stores for scratched and dented. I bought my last stove that way, and well, hey, it's still going, except the oven. The clock system, which runs the oven, petered out on me about two months ago, after, oh, maybe ten years. They want two hundred bucks for a new one, and I paid just over three for the whole thing. So, I use a little toaster over for any baking needs I have, which ain't much these days.

 

Progress? You can keep it. It seems to be nothing more than a quick trip over a cliff.

Mar 15, 2012 9:00PM
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Time to fire the ceo and drop him on his private island
Mar 15, 2012 6:46PM
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So sears is going down the tubes even faster than first thought. It must be time for the CEO get a large raise and a outrageous bonus!
Mar 15, 2012 11:22PM
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Any jack hole who blames this on any president should stay under his rock. Didn't you just read the CEO just bought some expensive property?  If the CEO's would stop watching TV thinking the Kardashians can save them and upgrade their stores and hire people who are willing to HELP customers, they wouldn't be in this mess.
Mar 15, 2012 10:52PM
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I say good riddance. I use to be a loyal Sears shopper and purchase everything I could from them. In January of this year my 75 year old mother who lives on less than $1000 a month went to the local Kmart and purchased a microwave oven. The store was designated for closing and she purchased it for 20% off. Of course, because they had marked it up higher she could have purchased the Kenmore Microwave cheaper at a Sears store. After she got home she removed it from the sealed packaging and plugged it in. The fan began rattling immediately and she turned it off. She called the manager at the store the same day and he refused to swap it for another unit. He said smartly all sales final lady! I called Sears and Kmarts National Customer Relations and they said the same thing. I guess they are proud to rip off an elderly poor lady without remorse. I will not buy one more item for either company. I also ask that you not buy one more item. If you do remember the treatment my mother received. Shame on Sears, and Shame on Kmart. Shame on their National Customer Relations Department for being so unethical.
Mar 15, 2012 9:26PM
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I work for Kmart and I can honestly say I have no idea what is going on.  The first thing I had to seriously learn when I started was how to tell people we are out of something......with computers why isn't stock ordered as soon as something is purchased so it is replaced?  Why is the team who does purchasing for things like the bath items (which look like stuff little old lady's with bad taste would buy) still making those decisions?  It is a shame too because Kmart is a very conscientious company.  They're good to their employees.  They don't discriminate.  They believe and support minority causes.  Its very progressive and altruistic in a lot of ways.  When have you heard anybody say that about Wal-mart?  It will be a real shame if they go under.  America really needs companies that have a social conscience....sad.
Mar 15, 2012 7:59PM
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How's that partnership with the Kartrashians workin' out for ya?
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