Sears lowers the ax again

Sears Holdings continues to shrink its traditional store portfolio even as it plans to open more smaller, specialty stores.
The embattled retailer on Friday announced that it will close 43 more locations -- eight Sears stores and 35 Kmart locations -- by early October. This is on top of the 265 store closings that it has already announced for this year. 
"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," Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert stated in a blog post on the company's website.
In the post, Lampert cited the chain's recent opening of a small-format, 20,000-sq.-ft. mattress and appliance store as a sign of its future brick-and-mortar direction. 
"The smaller store concept allows us to focus on some of our stronger categories, complemented with our Shop Your Way membership program, home services and credit offerings," he said. "We expect to introduce additional smaller, specialized concept stores in the upcoming quarters while simultaneously reducing the number and/or the size of larger-format, less competitive stores. Having the right formats and right sized stores will help us put Sears Holdings in a better position to meet the realities of the changing retail world.'
The new round of closings (for a list, click here) will bring Sears' store count to less than 1,140, down from 2,073 five years ago.
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