Another Nail in the Coffin? Sears Closes Flagship Store

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Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it’s closing its flagship store in downtown Chicago after reporting disappointing holiday sales results earlier this month, according to a report from Crain’s.

This will leave Sears without a store in the downtown area of its hometown. A spokesman from Sears told Crain’s that the store has lost “millions of dollars” since it opened in 2001. “[We] can no longer continue to support the store’s operating losses. The State Street store’s operational performance has been poor through much of its existence,” the spokesman said in an email to the publication.

Crain’s pointed out that other retailers located in Chicago’s Loop district are doing fine and that the overall retail market there is strong. The Sears spokesman told Crain’s that 160 people will loose their jobs as a result of the closing, but that Sears and Kmart will offer the affected employees new positions at other locations.

CEO Edward Lampert said in a blog post Tuesday that the company needs to close more locations as people do more and more of their shopping online, rather than in stores. “The consensus about decreased store traffic also highlights another decision that has steered our work: we very often need less space to serve our members better and we may need fewer locations as well,” Lampert said. “We don’t make decisions to close stores lightly, and we know just how hard these decisions are on our loyal associates who have provided years of excellent service.”

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