More Sears, Kmart stores set for closure in Indiana

Sears Holdings Corp. announced plans Friday to close 43 more stores, including three Sears department stores and one Kmart store in Indiana.

The closures are in addition to the 72 the struggling company announced in early June and the 150 it announced in January.

The most recent list includes 35 Kmart stores and eight Sears stores, including a Kmart at 2828 N. Broadway in Anderson and Sears stores in Clarksville, Elkhart and Schererville. The Schererville store is slated to close next month; the others are expected to close in October.

The closure of the Anderson Kmart will leave Indiana with just over a dozen remaining Kmart stores. The Indianapolis area has only four other Kmarts—two in Indianapolis (6780 W. Washington St. and 5101 E. Thompson Road) and one each in Brownsburg and Elwood.

The Brownsburg store is not on the latest closure list, but employee said it is scheduled to cease operations Sept. 17. Liquidation sales have already begun at the location.

Sears will be left with only 10 traditional department stores in the state—in Castleton, Greenwood, Muncie, Lafayette, Terre Haute, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Merrillville, Michigan City and Mishawaka.

Once the world’s largest retailer, Sears has racked up more than $10 billion in losses since 2012. The retailer now has fewer than 1,500 stores, down from more than 2,000 about five years ago.

The retailer added so-called going-concern language to its latest annual report filing in March, suggesting that weak earnings have cast a pall on its future as a business.

“After several months of hard work to bring our costs into line, we continue to take actions to realize our vision of an integrated retailer focused on quality member experiences,” Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert wrote in his company blog Friday. “Changes in consumer behavior are driving our vision and actions, and we continue to transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.

“Today, we will initiate the closing of an additional eight Sears and 35 Kmart unprofitable stores as we continue to focus on our best stores and return to profitability. This is part of a strategy both to address losses from unprofitable stores and to reduce the square footage of other stores because many of them are simply too big for our current needs.”

Sears shares were down 3 percent Friday afternoon, to $7.76 each.

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