REAL ESTATE

Sears to shutter 100 to 120 Kmart, full-line Sears stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. said Tuesday that it will close between 100 and 120 underperforming Sears and Kmart stores, following dismal holiday sales results for the brands.

The company said it has not yet identified which stores will be shuttered, but said that the closures are part of an overall plan to shift its focus from shoring up underperformers to concentrating its efforts on stronger stores.

"Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model," said Louis D’Ambrosio, CEO. "These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers."

Sears said that the store closings will generate $140 to $170 million in cash from inventory sales. It anticipates additional proceeds from the sale or sublease of real estate holdings.

The retailer had announced numerous closings this year, but this is the largest group of closings to date.

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REAL ESTATE

Exclusive: An evolving retail landscape shows signs of life

BY CSA STAFF

New York CityChain Store Age columnist Jeff Green, in his latest piece “On the Upswing?”, observes that there are three broad categories of retail driving the current expansion buzz.

Want to know more? Click here.

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REAL ESTATE

American Eagle debuts in three international markets

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pittsburgh — American Eagle Outfitters announced Wednesday that it has opened stores in three new international markets — Morocco, Jordan and Egypt.

The company said it also opened its third store in Saudi Arabia, and has plans for a second store in Lebanon in early 2012. The retailer currently operates in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE through its franchise partner, M.H. Alshaya.

American Eagle Outfitters opened in Jordan on Nov. 30 in Taj Mall. Morocco’s store opened in Casablanca at Morocco Mall on December 1. The Egypt store is located in Cairo’s City Stars Mall, and opened on Dec. 10.

The partnership with Alshaya, signed in May 2009, was AEO’s first foray into brick-and-mortar stores outside of North America. Since then, AEO has opened stores in Russia, China and Hong Kong, and signed franchise agreements for stores in Japan and Israel as well, working with various franchise partners.

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