Sears to close 72 more stores

Sears to close at least 72 more stores

Sears to close at least 72 more stores

Sears will close 72 additional stores as sales shrink and losses grow, an announcement that has become a familiar refrain as the company retrenches.

In its first-quarter financial report, the retailer posted a $424 million net loss in the three-month period that ended May 5.

Rob Riecker, Sears' chief financial officer, said in a pre-recorded call that the company's stores are "a critical component in our transformation".

Locally, Kmart has a location at 975 Fairmount Ave. while a Sears is located within the Chautauqua Mall.

The retailer, which is now headquartered in Hoffman Estates, IL, has fallen on hard times, and continues to shed stores, employees and brands.

Sears Holdings Corp., parent company of Kmart and Sears stores, said it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning a profit.

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The list of store closings was announced Thursday.

The closures include two locations in Massachusetts: Peabody and Springfield. Revenue fell more than 30 percent to $2.89 billion from $4.2 billion a year ago.

After this recent round of closings, Sears will have about 800 stores, down from about 1,000 at the end of previous year and far below the 2012 peak of 4,000 stores.

The company initially announced plans Thursday to close 72 stores, but pulled back slightly and released a list of only 63 stores slated for closing - 48 Sears stores and 15 Kmart stores, spread across 29 states.

"The demise of Sears has felt like a prolonged, drip, drip, drip", said Mark Hamrick, an analyst for Bankrate.com.

Sales at Sears stores open at least one year, a closely watched industry metric, fell 13.4 percent during the most recent quarter. Last year, Sears sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black and Decker for $900 million.