Trying to cut its way to profitability, troubled Sears Holdings announced Thursday that it will close 68 Kmart and 10 Sears stores this summer in its latest move to cut losses.
“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” said Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert in a statement.
All of the Sears stores and nearly all of the Kmart stores will close in late July, the retailer said. Two Kmart stores will close in mid-September. The closing Kmart and Sears stores will hold liquidation sales starting May 12 and April 29.
Those proceeds from those sales, along with some revenue from subleasing closed stores, are considered “important steps,” along with $1.2 billion in debt financing, aimed at restoring profitability, Sears said. Sears Holdings reported a loss of $580 million in the quarter ended Jan. 30, compared with a loss of $159 million in the year-ago quarter.
Sears shares rose in after-hours trading, up 6.3% to $19.15 a share, up $1.14, after having fallen 3.4% during the trading session on Thursday.
Workers being laid off at the closed stores will be able to apply at stores that remain open, the company’s statement said.