Sears has announced it will close more than 30 Kmart and Sears stores in the first quarter of 2017 in response to poor third-quarter earnings, according to Business Insider.
The retailer made an internal announcement, but did not publicly state which stores would close, Business Insider reports.
Six Sears employees confirmed the closures with Business Insider, saying that eight Sears stores and 24 Kmart locations are slated to begin the liquidation process in early January and will be closed by late March or mid-April.
If those stores close as scheduled, then Sears will have shuttered more than 200 locations within the current fiscal year and will have reduced its total number of stores by 60 percent since 2011, Business Insider reports. That will drop the retailer’s store count down to 1,500, Business Insider says.
Sears’ CEO Eddie Lampert announced Thursday that his investment firm ESL Investments Inc. will offer a $200 million letter of credit to the struggling retailer, according to Bloomberg. If lenders agree to it, the letter of credit could be expanded to $500 million. Analyst Noel Hebert, who works for Bloomberg’s research division, says the investment is an attempt to ease vendors’ concerns and isn’t a “normal course” of action.
Sears released its third-quarter financial report in December, showing revenue had dropped more than $720 million since the same quarter in 2015. Same-store sales were down 7.4 percent.
In a recent interview with CNBC, retail consultant Neil Saunders compared the company to the doomed ship Titanic, saying it “looks set to sink.“