Almost 80 Sears, Kmart stores closing before Christmas, Utah store included

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Sears is closing 77 Sears and Kmart stores and cutting 5,300 jobs, including a location in Utah.

The state will lose a Kmart location in Wood Cross at 680 W. 2600 S. in early December.

The fact that most of these stores will close before Christmas is akin to raising a white flag, since holiday sales are the lynchpin for any retailer’s entire year.

“They’re not giving anybody confidence that they’re going to be around long-term,” Allan Ellinger said, senior managing partner at MMG Advisors, an investment bank that specializes in fashion and retailing. “It’s sad, these were once among the industry’s leading brands.”

Even the stores that won’t close until after the holidays are already holding going-out-of-business sales rather than gearing up for seasonal promotions.

Fitch recently downgraded Sears Holdings to just above default status, suggesting the company may not have cash to continue beyond 2016.

Standard & Poor’s may do the same.

S&P analyst Toby Crabtree said the company’s cash crunch is worse than he had anticipated and that it’s closing more stores than he had expected it to before the end of the year.

The store closing list was first compiled by the web site Seeking Alpha, and confirmed by local news reports in the affected communities.

A Sears spokesman declined to comment on the list except to say that the company has notified store employees.

“We stated in our second quarter earnings that we would be closing unprofitable stores as leases expire and in some cases will accelerate closings when it is economically prudent,” spokesman Howard Riefs said. “If a store is not generating a profit, it is straightforward that the store should be considered for closure.”

Forty-six Kmart stores will close while the Sears brand will shutter 31 locations, including those that have both a Sears store and Sears auto.

The company reported that it had nearly 1,900 U.S. stores between the two brands as of the end of August, down 166 from a year earlier.

19 comments

  • Donna Warner

    I live in Bozeman, MT and our KMart will be closing in January. It’s been amazing to me that they have remained open as long as they have because they’re right across from a Super-Walmart and the only time they have more than 25 shoppers is the holidays. They’ve lost A LOT of money on the KMart here. Sad for the employees but I can see why they are doing it.

  • Matt

    A year ago I had a brief conversation with an employee at the Sears store in Provo and he told me that they were hanging on by their fingernails. He said that they weren’t sure how long they would be around. It is really sad to see this happen in our country. I grew up with Sears and Montgomery Ward. They were the best stores to shop at and we could get anything that we needed. If they didn’t have it on the floor we could order it. Life seemed simpler and better back then. My heart goes out to all of the employees that are losing their jobs.

  • carol

    Doesn’t surprise me. There’s never more than a dozen people in the store. You can’t get help from employees. If there are more than 3 people in line, they don’t know how to handle it. You can stand in line forever there. And if someone has a question on an item, the line is held up for another 15 minutes.

  • bob

    Sears moved out of their own building in Tooele recently, which they built just ten years ago, and moved into a rental property. Their former location is empty, and the For Sale signs are starting to have a look of permanence about them.

    Not only are they desperate, but they’re also not very bright. What purpose did this move accomplish?

  • Finny Wiggen

    The Kmart down the street from us never has any business. They are next to the Wal-Mart, which is always packed. I have gone in a few times to try to avoid the lines, but I invariably end up at Wal-Mart, because Kmart either doesn’t have what I need, or it is priced sometimes as much as three times as high as it would be at Wal-Mart.

    If you want to compete, then compete. Don’t expect people to shop in your store, just because you have an historical brand name!

  • Jade

    This is really sad. The Kmart in Billings Mt is a great store. I am not a fan of Walmart or Target. Both stores have crappy service and merchandise. Less choices are never good.

  • Trish Ramirez

    Get with the modern business model or fail.

    Why are people so surprised that these companies, with HUGE overheads and garbage online sales are going under?

    This has nothing to do with a bad economy and everything to do with the fact that people don’t want to go to Kmart or Sears and pay more for something they can get elsewhere or online for cheaper.

    Bottom line, these companies are unsustainable when compared to Amazon or Walmart or Ebay or Target – they lack the selection, service and prices that people have come to expect elsewhere.

    Don’t worry, something will come alone and replace them – the next big things.

  • common sense

    KMART is my fav store..Do not like the phony big corporate,not to mention Walmart is a bad shopping experience! KMART you will be dearly missed:(

  • lafemmafatalle33@yahoo.com

    Sears & Kmart have absolutely refused to respond to market forces. They have created their own demise. I refuse to shop at EITHER store. Just look at their parking lots. They may as well be carpool lots. If your parking lot is empty, with the clout this behemoth company has, you’re doing it all wrong… very wrong.

  • Betty Cook

    I enjoyed shopping at both Sears and K-Mart, but Sears quit carrying all the clothing brands I’d bought for years. If you’re past 30 or possibly 35, forget it. Absolutely nothing suitable for a senior citizen. The last time we visited K-Mart it was so hot in the store we had to leave. We questioned why it was so hot, and one of the employees said that they had orders from
    “corporate” to turn the air conditioning off! I really hate to see this happen.

  • randy

    Have you been in some of thoughs stores its sad im not going to sugar coat it. It looks like sh** I went sears for some tools had no clue where to go and at one end wrenches and at the other end the same wrenches the exact same with no price tags on anything a big cluster f*** I can understand that during the holidays even though it should never ever look that way ever and Kmart is a little better but I was looking for a wedding band for my wife cause in her work she can’t have any stones in it and let me tell you the original price for a plain gold band $3000.00 at Kmart come on then underneath on sale sweet right $2000.00 what even more of a sale no on sale again $1000.00 great deal even better underneath that price $500.00 for the same gold wedding band on one sign what kind of peace of sh** is this if I was buying a car and the sign had a sales price from $3000.00 to $500.00 I would be worried when it comes down to it sh** like that should never happen in a retail environment my advise look at your stores frequently and hold people accountable. Build a awesome shopping expierence with quality products at decent prices is it that hard to go above and beyond no.

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