Sears, Kmart closing more stores in NJ - Here's the list

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A Kmart department in West Babylon is scheduled to close in September as part of the latest round of store closings by its parent company Sears.

The struggling retailer said Thursday that it has identified about 100 unprofitable stores, and plans to shutter 72 of those locations. And those closures were on top of a previous announcement made by Sears stating that 166 Kmart and Sears stores would close in 2018.

"Our transformation strategy is created to make Sears Holdings a new kind of retailer – one that is innovative, truly integrated and optimally positioned to meet the needs and preferences of todays shoppers", Rob Riecker, the companys chief financial officer, said to shareholders Thursday.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Holdings Edward S. Lampert said in the release that the company will explore third-party partnerships involving Sears Home Services, Innovel, Kenmore and DieHard.

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

Sears will close another 72 stores as sales plunge and losses grow.

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The company says its overall store sales fell 11.9 percent for the quarter - including a 13.4 percent decline at Sears stores.

A Sears Hometown store still is in operation on Avenue of the Cities in Moline, but the SouthPark Mall location closed in 2013.

The closings come as the company deals with sluggish sales.

At almost the same time, Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments, claims to have received many inquiries from "potential partners" in response to ESL's suggestion to the Sears board that the company consider selling its Kenmore brand, among other assets. The retailer also has been putting stores, including its Lacey location, up for auction or sale. Besides Peabody, the only other MA store in the announcement was a Sears in Springfield. There will also be a new entry to the mall, with restaurants on both sides.

The prior-year quarter's results included a gain of $492 million recognized in conjunction with the sale of the Craftsman brand.

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