After challenging holiday, Sears to speed up store closings

Thursday, 11 Feb, 2016

Shares in the department store operator fell Tuesday to their lowest levels in a dozen years.

Shares in the company, down 49% over the past 12 months, declined 3.4% in premarket trading.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer run by billionaire hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert has been jettisoning assets to fund operating losses.

Stores already slated for closing within the next few months will be effected by the accelerated plan, but Sears made sure to note that other stores are now eligible to get the axe, according to the Associated Press.

Last year, the company sold around 235 Sears and Kmart branded properties to Seritage Growth Properties, a real-estate investment trust (REIT), raising roughly $2.5 billion in the process, and it's been dropping underperforming locations like flies.

But there's a limit to what the company can do, and omni-channel retailers do need to be able to leverage their brick-and-mortar stores to reach customers.

Lakers and Cavaliers Discussed A Kobe Bryant-LeBron James Trade In 2007
Bryant was 28 years old and at the peak of his prime but he was frustrated with the state of the Lakers and seeking a trade. The Cavaliers did make an offer for Kobe including basically anyone else on the team but the Lakers had no interest at all.

As for store closures, Sears said Tuesday it will include, but not be limited to, about 50 stores that the company recently announced it would be shuttering in the next few months.

Sears, like Macy's, blamed warmer weather and increased competition on the sales decline.

This morning the company pre-announced an expected net loss of between $525 million and $625 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared to a year-ago net loss of $159 million. As of January 31, 2015, this segment operated 717 full-line stores located across 50 states and Puerto Rico. Steps announced Tuesday would shave an additional $550 million to $650 million off of expenses, Sears said.

Struggling retail giant Sears is moving quickly to close some of its stores. Ms. Aggarwal of Fitch had expected the company to end the year with as much as $2 billion in liquidity.

"We also intend to continue to evaluate and optimize our cost structure, including optimizing store-level marketing expenditures and overall staffing levels, and we will be taking action to reduce our fixed costs, and to improve our inventory management and gross margin realization", the company said.