Sears, Kmart, Macy’s Unveil List of Store Closures for Early 2018

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. AND CINCINNATI — Sears Holdings Corp. has announced that 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores will close nationwide between March and early April of this year.

Sears had previously unveiled an effort to close unprofitable stores and “right size” store footprints. Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores. Liquidation sales will begin as early as Jan. 12 at the stores set to close.

The company is closing three Kmart stores and three Sears stores in its home state of Illinois. For a full list of store closings, click here.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati-based Macy’s has also announced the planned closure of 11 stores, four of which were previously disclosed. With these closures, the retailer will have completed 81 of the approximately 100 planned store closures announced in August 2016. The company intends to close approximately 19 additional stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sales transactions are completed.

Including the newly announced stores, Macy’s has closed 124 stores since 2015. A majority of the Macy’s stores closing in early 2018 are located in California and Florida. A full list is available here. Clearance sales are expected to begin on Jan. 8 and run for eight to 12 weeks.

The shuttering of big box retail space has been well documented over the past year. However, the challenges also present opportunity for landlords to bring in new tenants and redevelop spaces. Some department stores have been transformed into more entertainment or lifestyle-focused spaces featuring fitness clubs, bowling alleys or restaurants. For example, CBL Properties recently began redevelopment of Eastland Mall in Bloomington, Ill. Planet Fitness is one of the tenants slated to occupy space formerly occupied by a J.C. Penney store.

Despite recent store closures, Macy’s may have turned a corner. The company reported that its comparable sales increased 1 percent in the months of November and December 2017 compared with the same time last year. A solid holiday shopping season and federal tax law change were cited as boosting the annual earnings guidance.

“Our primary focus in 2017 was to continue the strong growth of digital and mobile, stabilize our brick-and-mortar business and set the foundation for future growth,” said Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy’s. “We’ve made good progress on each, including encouraging trend improvements in our brick-and-mortar business.”

Macy’s stock price closed at $24.47 per share on Thursday, Jan. 4, down from $30.86 per share one year ago. Sears’ stock price closed at $3.58 per share on Thursday, Jan. 4, down sharply from $10.39 per share one year ago.

Kristin Hiller

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