How a soon-to-close Sears store shaped one ESPN anchor’s life

I am looking for news on the (Green Bay) Packers search for a (general manager) but instead am struck cold by the headline in this very paper — “Sears to close Green Bay store.” This cannot be. This is not right. This is … this is heartbreaking.Sears has closed hundreds of stores across the country the past few years, I know this. It’s not a new headline. However, until today (Monday), I hadn’t considered the possibility that corporate decision-makers would shutter this Sears. My Sears!This isn’t just some Sears store to me any more than Lambeau Field is just some stadium or John Wayne is just some cowboy or Frank Sinatra is just some singer.No. Where most see just a department store, I see family history. Jan. 10: Sears 'will consider all other options' if refinancing fails, CEO Eddie Lampert warns Jan. 4: Is your local Kmart or Sears closing? I don’t make it from infancy in Iowa to the SportsCenter anchor desk at ESPN without this Sears. Does not happen. My life is tethered to the brown brick building at the corner of Military and Mason. Actually, it’s Sixth Street, but we won’t worry about the precise location until I learn to ride a bike and my mom needs to know exactly where I am at all times.My mother is a 24-year-old widow with a 3-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son. It’s November 1965 when her husband, my father, is killed in a car crash on a gravel road in rural Iowa.I will never know my Kenny Anderson. My sister can recall some. My mom has all the memories, and in 1965, there are some hard days.The three of us live in a small house in Mason City, Iowa. A place made famous as River City by Music Man composer Meredith Wilson. There are good neighbors on either side of us. Dear friends who help look out for us.A few months pass and in February 1966, Larry Neville, the neighbor on the left as you face our front door, gets transferred to be head of the appliance Continue Reading

Sears Holdings’ Store Closing Spree Continues: J.C. Penney Is Set to Benefit

Downsizing has been a dominant theme at Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) for the last few years. During that time, the company has closed hundreds of stores annually as it has tried (unsuccessfully) to return to profitability. Last week, Sears Holdings announced its latest round of store closures. Another 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores will close for good by early April. The latest step in Sears' ongoing retreat could help struggling rival J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) as it tries to stabilize its business and get sales growing again. The pace of store closures accelerates Just five years ago, Sears Holdings operated more than 2,000 full-size stores in the U.S. under the Kmart and Sears nameplates. By the end of fiscal 2016, that total had fallen by more than 30%, leaving the company with 735 Kmarts and 670 full-line Sears stores. Sears Holdings has taken its downsizing initiative to a whole new level in the past year. In the first three quarters of fiscal 2017, the company closed about 300 stores. Another 45 Kmarts and 18 Sears stores are set to close this month. In total, Sears Holdings will have reduced its store count by more than 25% in fiscal 2017, including a more than 35% decrease for the Kmart chain. Sears Holdings has closed lots of stores in recent years. Image source: Sears. This fast-paced effort to close money-losing stores has only modestly reduced Sears Holdings' losses. As a result, the company will continue shrinking in fiscal 2018. On Jan. 4, management announced plans to shutter another 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores between March and early April, with liquidation sales beginning this month. This will shrink the Kmart chain to around 400 locations and the Sears chain to around 500 full-line stores. More good news for J.C. Penney In the past two years, J.C. Penney has started to act more deliberately to gain market share from Sears. Most notably, in 2016, it installed appliance showrooms in 500 locations, roughly half of its Continue Reading

How Bad Off Is Sears Holdings? Worse Than You Think

Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) CEO Eddie Lampert has maintained a brave face and a positive message as his company has steadily declined around him. He has insisted that Sears has a viable plan as it has shrunk from 2,601 stores in Q3 2012 to 1,104 (and shrinking) in Q3 2017. Through the first three quarters of 2017, the retailer, which owns Kmart and Sears, had lost over $1.6 billion. That followed a $2.2 billion loss in 2016 and a $1.1 billion loss in 2015. The chain has also gotten to the point where its $12 billion in debt exceeds its $8.1 billion in assets. Sears Holdings is experiencing death by a thousand paper cuts while it's also dying from more grievous wounds. Lampert doesn't see it that way, but his attempt to highlight the positive is a bit like someone with terminal cancer learning that his athlete's foot has cleared up. Sears has been closing stores and losing sales. Image source: Sears. More stores are closing As retail changes due to the rise of the internet, a number of struggling chains have decided that smaller is better. That strategy has yet to be proven successful, though there are some signs that closing some stores has worked for Macy's, which reported comparable-store sales growth of 1% in November and December. Fewer stores seems to make sense for a chain like Macy's, which often had multiple locations in the same area. For Sears, however, getting smaller hasn't driven business to other stores in the chain or online. It has simply made the money-losing company smaller and that's continuing with the company telling employees in early January that it plans to shut 64 more Kmart stores and 39 Sears locations in March and April, CNBC reported. The company has once again tried to explain this as being part of a plan. "We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members," the company Continue Reading

Colorado Springs’ last Kmart will close this spring; new hotel planned for the site

0 View Gallery  View Comments Colorado Springs' last Kmart will close in early April, part of the latest round of Sears and Kmart stores being shuttered nationwide by the retailers' financially struggling owner. The Kmart anchored the aging Fillmore Marketplace shopping center, northwest of Nevada Avenue and Fillmore Street. Four others in the Pikes Peak region have all closed over the years - at Chapel Hills Mall and Citadel Crossing Shopping Center, in Fountain and, most recently, at Powers and Palmer Park boulevards on the city's east side. But even as Kmart's closing signals ongoing troubles for brick-and-mortar retailers, it clears the way for a major redevelopment of Fillmore Marketplace by its California-based owner. Related: Convenience store chain plans Colorado Springs expansion Hall Equities Group, a real estate company that bought Fillmore Marketplace in 2013 with the expectation Kmart eventually would leave, plans to develop an extended-stay, Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel on the site, said broker Tiffany Colvert of NAI Highland in Colorado Springs, who markets the property. Additional retailers, entertainment uses and fitness centers have shown interest in the property, Colvert said. Redevelopment plans envision the Kmart being renovated to house multiple users, while a portion of it could be torn down to accommodate the hotel, she said. Two standalone buildings - one that houses a Subway and another 10,000-square-foot multi-tenant structure - will remain, she said. An Auto Zone store also will stay, but it's unknown what would happen to the Big Train restaurant that operates in a free-standing building, she said. Buildings that house Axis Business Technologies and Monica's Taco Shop are separately owned and not part of the redevelopment plan, Colvert said. The 104,000-square-foot Kmart store in the Springs anchored the 126,000-square-foot Fillmore Marketplace, which El Paso County land records show was built in 1969. Fillmore Marketplace's Continue Reading

Brookfield Square Sears to close mid-March; Green Bay Plaza Sears to shut down early April

The Sears store at Brookfield Square mall will close in mid-March and a Sears at the Green Bay Plaza in Green Bay will shut down in early April, the company said Thursday.The two Wisconsin Sears locations were included on a list ot 39 Sears stores and 64 Kmart stores that Sears Holdings Corp. said would be closed between early March and early April. There were no Wisconsin Kmarts on the list.The company didn't immediately have information of how many workers the Brookfield and Green Bay stores employ."The majority of these jobs are part-time positions. Eligible associates will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores," Sears spokesman Larry Costello said.A Sears Auto Center at Green Bay Plaza will close in late February.Sears said the closing of unprofitable stores is part of the retailer's effort to "right size our store footprint in number and size."The closure of the Brookfield Square locations is no surprise. Mall operator CBL & Associates Inc. and the City of Brookfield already have redevelopment plans for the Sears portion of the mall.In late December, the Brookfield Common Council approved an $8.75 million city financing plan to help redevelop Brookfield Square's Sears site, and a separate proposal to sell land for a neighboring hotel.Proposed are a movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants and other attractions to put a bigger emphasis on entertainment destinations. The new projects, including the hotel, will total roughly $60 million to $70 million, according to city estimates.Those developments reduce Brookfield Square's focus on selling clothes and other items that are increasingly being bought through and other online retailers. Most of the Sears building will be demolished. In its place will be a 41,000-square-foot BistroPlex, operated by Marcus Corp. It will offer in-theater dining in all eight Continue Reading

Sears is closing 103 stores — here’s where they will shut down

Hayley Peterson, provided by Published 12:15 pm, Thursday, January 4, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Associated Press File Photo Image 1of/30 CaptionClose Image 1 of 30 * Sears is closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores. Most of the stores will close by April.* The upcoming round of closures will leave the company with fewer than 940 stores, down from 3,510 six years ago.* Kmart has been among the hardest hit by recent closures in the retail industry. It Continue Reading

Sears bought few national TV ads during the holiday season, data show

No, it's not your imagination —  embattled retailer Sears Holdings bought few national TV ads during the 2017 year-end holiday season.The corporate parent of Sears and KMart chain ran just a few national TV spots in November, mainly remnant inventory from older ad campaigns, and none at all since, according to data provided Sunday by, an advertising measurement company.In contrast, retail competitors Walmart, Target, JC Penney, Macy's, Kohl's and others collectively purchased dozens of TV ads between Sept. 1 and Dec. 30, the data showed. Macy's alone bought 146 spots, according to the data.Sears, Kmart joined their retail competitors with heavy TV advertising campaigns during December 2016, the also data showed.The advertising shift may signal that Illinois-based Sear's Holdings is focusing more attention on selling via online and social media marketing as U.S. consumers increasingly do their shopping via the Internet.In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the shift away from the customary national television ad buys, Sears Holdings said it is constantly "evaluating the effectiveness" of different marketing venues."This ongoing evaluation has meant we have made significant shifts over the past few years in where we've allocated our resources, including less traditional print and television, and more digital and social channels," the company statement added. More: Sears posts loss of $558 million ahead of crucial holiday shopping season Another 60-plus Sears, Kmart stores set to close in January 2018; see the list Here are the 26 retailers and apparel companies most at risk in 2018 Sears reported a third-quarter loss of $558 million in late November as shoppers stepped up their traditional holiday gift buying and giving. The announcement followed announcements of more than 400 store closings in 2017 as the company moved to cut costs and eliminate lower-selling Continue Reading

Sears to close longtime store in Clarksville’s Green Tree Mall

The Sears store in Green Tree Mall in Clarksville, Indiana, is set to close, according to the company's website. USA TODAY reported that 35 Kmart and eight Sears locations will close by early October, including the store in Clarksville. The closings reflect the continuing decline of long-time retail industry stalwarts such as Sears, whose outlets continue to suffer under the heavy competition from on-line retailers.The Green Tree Mall Sears store is one of three department stores anchoring the large shopping center at 747 Lewis & Clark Parkway on the north side of the Hoosier community.  Green Tree Mall spokesperson Stacey Keating said she views the closure as an opportunity that will have a positive impact on the mall property. Keating said such closures allow the mall to take underperforming space and convert it into more productive retailing.In a statement, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said that the closures are part of a strategy to reduce the number of unprofitable locations. He also said that many of the stores "are simply too big for our current needs." More: Sears, Kmart to close 43 more stores as retail crisis continues More: Sears, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Macy's: These retailers are closing stores in 2017 Parent company Sears Holdings Corp. announced that it is closing the 43 stores -- on top of the 265 store closures that it announced earlier in 2017.  According to media reports, Sears will be left with around 1,140 stores. As recently as 2012, there were more than 2,000 Sears stores.The latest closures include a Kmart at 2828 N. Broadway in Anderson, Indiana; a Kmart at 2520 Nicholasville Road in Lexington, Kentucky; a Kmart at 2760 Frederica Street in Owensboro, Kentucky; the Clarksville Sears store and two Sears outlets in Northern Indiana -- one in Elkhart and the other in Schererville.Sears Holdings spokesman Howard Riefs said in a recent release that "at the beginning Continue Reading

Advice for Sears and Kmart from Middle America

But Sears Holdings shareholders have cause for hope, for here to save the day and offer some free advice is an army of savvy consumers, shrewd bargain-hunters, and espousers of all that is rooted in good-old fashioned common sense. I speak not of myself but of a recent conversation I had at a small family reunion.In what amounted to a harmless, unscripted, and unexpected conversation about what Sears just doesn't get, multiple members of my family had some fantastic business insights for Eddie Lampert -- an obviously smart guy who was probably out of his depth when it came to operating a retailer.Here's what they had to say:The value of combining what is arguably America's most storied department-store brand with a tried-and-true, but struggling, discount retailer never quite made sense to many on Wall Street. My conversation drove home the fact that Main Street feels the same way.As I explained, the rationale for the Sears-Kmart combination was largely based on both companies' extensive real estate holdings, as well as the reasonable idea that they could at least match the pricing structures of their competitors.And that's why we all agreed that focusing on a single brand was just the ticket.By putting all its attention on a single brand -- perhaps Sears, as it's arguably the more valuable brand of the two -- the company could leverage the distribution network, real estate, and negotiating power of the combined entities. Sears locations could have remained the same, while Kmart locations could have been converted to "Sears Everyday" or "Sears Home." A hitch in this plan is that of the two brands, Kmart was the stronger-performing retailer in recent years, perhaps proof that the company simply needs to pick a cohesive, value-focused strategy and stick to it.To many present, the fact that there was never a cohesive strategy when the two companies merged told them that the company was simply confused about its identity. More on Sears: Both brands have Continue Reading

Another 60-plus Sears, Kmart stores set to close in January 2018; see the list

The cost-cutting strategy continues at Sears with another 63 stores targeted for closure early next year.Emblematic of the struggle facing U.S. department stores, Sears Holdings has already closed more than 350 Sears and Kmart stores this year. An additional 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will be closing in late January 2018, the company said Thursday.“Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the productivity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size," the company said in a statement. "In the process, as previously announced we will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members." More: Is Sears circling the drain? Not yet, Wall Street says The 63 stores will remain open during the holiday season and employees at the closing stores will get severance pay and an opportunity to apply for other jobs within the retail chains. "Liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 at these closing stores," the company said.The retail industry s reeling as a growing number of shoppers do their buying online and e-commerce giant Amazon becomes the go-to for many consumers. But the decline of Sears has been particularly stark.The iconic store chain, whose goods once filled American households from the garage to the living room, has struggled to remain relevant as shoppers increasingly bypass it to head to big box giants like Walmart, or specialty retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot instead.In March, Sears said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business unless it could borrow more and generate additional cash from its assets. However, the notification was required because of a rule change that mandated businesses be more transparent about Continue Reading