Local Kmart closings part of Sears’ ongoing woes

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The planned closings of two Kmart stores in Indianapolis are part of a wave of national closures prompted by the ongoing struggles of parent company Sears Holdings Corp.

Sears disclosed this week that it is closing local stores at 2715 Madison Ave. and 7425 E. Washington St. by early December.

The Madison Street store has 131 employees and the Washington Street store has 139, Sears said. Most of those employees are part-time workers and will be eligible to apply for open positions at other area Kmart and Sears stores, the company said.

Liquidation sales are scheduled to begin Sunday.

According to news reports, dozens of Kmarts are being closed around the country. A spokesperson for Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears declined to reveal how many stores are being shut down nationwide.

“A list of stores is not available,” the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. “We will provide an updated store count in our Q3 2014 earnings announcement in November.”

News reports from around Indiana confirmed planned closings in Muncie, Bedford, Decatur and Fort Wayne.

Sears is facing major financial issues, and some analysts are predicting it might not survive. It posted a second-quarter loss of $573 million last month on sales that declined 9.7 percent. The retailer has experienced 30 straight quarterly revenue declines and nine straight money-losing quarters.

The company acknowledged closing 130 under-performing Sears and Kmart stores in the first half of 2014. And nearly 680 Kmarts have closed since the chain emerged from bankruptcy in 2003.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” Sears said in a prepared statement. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail—at the store, online and in the home.”

Kmart has remaining stores in Indianapolis at 6708 W. Washington St. and 5101 E. Thompson Road, according to its website. It also has stores in Anderson, Brownsburg and Greenwood.


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