The store closings just keep coming for Sears and Kmart, Nos. 25 and 56 respectively on Dealerscope's list of the Top 101 CE Retailers of 2019. Last month, Transform Holdco LLC (the company that acquired Sears Holdings in Feb. 2019) announced plans to shut down 26 stores by October. Now it appears that 77 additional stores are facing a similar fate.
A number of former and current employees say they saw documents detailing the forthcoming closures, while others say they were given a formal notice about them from their employers. An anonymous source contacted Forbes after obtaining a closed circulated list of 77 stores up for closure. Of the 77, ten are located in Pennsylvania, seven in Michigan, five in California, and four in Puerto Rico. The source says the list mostly consists of Kmart branded stores.
It is believed that the newly obtained list includes stores that have not been formally announced by the company. The reports also follow chatter about “massive layoffs” at the Hoffman Estates, Illinois headquarters. A former employee, who also asked to remain anonymous, released the following statement in an email to Forbes:
As far as I can tell, the bottom is truly out. The campus is nearly empty, we have no more business development in the company, so it looks like they’re finally shutting things down. The crew on now is purely skeleton and keep(ing) the lights on.
The person went on to say the company is looking to sell the complex in its entirety, and already has an interested buyer. Sterling Bay, a Chicago-based developer, is reportedly looking into the space with plans to make it a senior center facility. Neither Sears nor Sterling Bay provided any comments about the statement.