A Pompano Beach Kmart and West Palm Beach Sears are among the 120 stores set to close after Sears Holding Corp.. reported a slump in holiday sales this year.
The company announced that it will close up to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores across the country in order to generate up to $170 million in cash, according to a news release. Sears Holding Company released an initial list of 79 stores that are scheduled to close.
Among those slated to close is a Kmart at 2421 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach and a Sears Essentials store at 4560 Forest Hill Blvd in West Palm Beach. Eleven Sears and Kmart stores in Florida will close.
Sears Essentials are converted discount Sears stores that began as branches in 2005. The mid-sized stores are commonly found in shopping plazas and strip malls and are similar to discount clothing outlets.
Sales at Sears Holding stores have declined every year since 2005, when Sears and Kmart merged in an $11 billion deal. The company likely will face more closings to cut expenses and remain competitive against rival retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, analysts said.
Lawrence Zolnowski, president of the Broward County Chamber of Commerce, estimated 30-100 employees could be impacted by the Pompano store’s closing.
“Job loss is never a good thing, and I’m sure we’re going to feel the damages because of that,” he said.
On Thursday, Sears could not give the number of employees affected by the closings.
Kmart and Sears combined have 2,177 stores nationwide. Kmart stores in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Davie, Boca Raton and North Miami will remain open.
Among the Sears stores that will remain open are those at the Westfield Broward, Coral Square Mall and Town Center in Boca Raton.
It is unclear when the 79 stores will close. Sears did not announce whether there would be liquidation sales.
On Tuesday, Sears' shares fell 27.2 percent to close at $33.38, the lowest since December 2008. On Thursday, the stock finished up 43 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $32.90.
Sears Holdings Corp. is home to Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances. On Thursday, the stock was valued at $3.57 billion.
Company sales were down 5.2 percent during the 2011 holiday shopping season, compared to the same period a year ago.
The closings follow Sears' announcement last quarter that it would shut 10 stores nationwide.
Sears' problems also hit shares of appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., which last year derived 8 percent of sales through the retailer. Whirlpool shares fell 8.9 percent to close at $46.62.
The drop in share price was a big blow for investors.
Fairholme Capital, Sears' second-biggest shareholder with 15.2 percent, saw the value of its stake drop to about $570 million on Tuesday, a potential loss of almost $180 million since the end of the third quarter.
Information from Reuters news service was used to supplement this article.
To see the full list of store closings, click here.
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