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Sears Closes Another 63 Stores—What’s Left?

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Sears Holdings just added 63 more stores to the 180 it has already closed this year and the 150 more on the chopping block to be shuttered before the year’s up—that brings the total closed stores to 393 this year alone. And that still leaves the retailer with close to 1,200 stores.

In a list released Thursday announcing the slated closures, Sears said 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will cease to operate by late January 2018.

“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 the note. “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.”

Despite the announcement coming right ahead of the holidays, Sears wanted to be clear that it will be business as usual at the impacted stores.

“It’s important to note that these stores will remain open to serve members during the holiday season,” Sears said. “Liquidation sales will begin as early as November 9 at these closing stores.”

Bad news has been bearing down on Sears for some years, though CEO Edward Lampert continues to lend the business one lifeline after another.

The latest was a series of loans secured last month through Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, totaling $200 million.

[Read more about Sears’ loans: Sears in a War of Words With the WSJ Over Portrayal of its Vendor Relationships]

Sears’ financial position has gotten it in hot water with its vendors in the last year, many scaling back on their business with the retailer for fear of bad deals. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal said Sears has gone from providing 20 percent of Whirlpool’s revenue to just 3 percent of sales.

As of the second quarter ended July 29, Sears said its total long-term debt was $3.5 billion. Sales in the same period slipped 13.2% at Sears and 9.4% at Kmart.

Sears Holdings stock was down nearly 5 percent to $5.17 at close of trading Friday.

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