Sears Holdings said Thursday it will be closing more than 70 stores in 2018 as its sales continue to decline. Earlier this year, the retailer identified 100 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores, and announced today that it will be closing 72 of these stores "in the near future." In a statement announcing its fiscal first-quarter results, Sears said: "We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted." The list of which stores are to be closed will be made public some time Thursday, the company said. Separately, Sears announced that it currently has an independent committee evaluating a deal where the company would sell some of its assets, including the Kenmore brand, to CEO Eddie Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments.
Total Retail's Take: Sears’ downward spiral continues, and at this point is doing everything it can to survive. The retailer is looking to cut costs by shuttering unprofitable stores. The cost-cutting move has resulted in sales declining even further, without a big enough boost to the bottom line to show signs of an impending turnaround for the iconic retail brand. In its first quarter, for example, Sears reported a loss of $424 million, and revenue fell more than 30 percent to $2.89 billion from $4.2 billion a year ago. Same-store sales, a key metric used to monitor a retailer's health, were down 11.9 percent overall. Sears’ dire financial state has many industry experts believing the company is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy.