Sears to close 43 more stores

July 7 (UPI) -- Sears Holdings, owner and operator of Sears and Kmart, announced plans to close another 43 stores.

Friday's announcement comes less than two weeks after the company announced the shuttering of 20 stores across 14 states.

The retail chain closed 265 stories during the last fiscal year, and according to a blog post by CEO Eddie Lamper, more closings are likely on the way.

The company says the closings are part of a strategy to become profitable. Both Sears and Kmart have seen their sales decline dramatically in recent years. Sears has lost $10 billion over the last six years and hasn't turned a profit since 2010.

"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," Lampert wrote.

Sears is just one of a number of struggling retailers, as consumers abandon brick-and-mortar stores for the convenience and discounts offered by online shopping sites like Amazon. Both Macy's and JCPenney have announced store closings and staff layoffs this year.

In an effort to turn a profit, Sears plans to focus on online retail and smaller brick-and-mortar stores stocked with only their most popular products. The company has spun-off its most valuable properties into a real estate investment trust that leases store space to other businesses.

But even a streamlined retail business could falter. Sears has expressed doubts about their ability to stay afloat. Sears Canada, which was spun off from Sears Holdings in 2012, filed for bankruptcy in June.
Brooks Hays


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