Sears Secures $250M In New Capital, But Another 96 Stores Put On The Closure List

By Clare Duffy, CNN Business

(CNN/KDKA) — Sears, once the dominant big box retailer with thousands of stores around the United States, continues to see its footprint decimated as its owner fights to bring it back from the brink.


Sears owner Transformco announced Thursday it has obtained $250 million in new capital, money intended to help fuel the company’s turnaround after it obtained essentially all of Sears Holding Company’s assets during its bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year. But still, the company says it will be forced to shutter another 96 Sears and Kmart stores in 30 states by February 2020, continuing a trend that’s been accelerating for months.


Following the closures, the company will operate just 182 stores, down from nearly 700 when it filed for bankruptcy in October of last year.


“We will continue to evaluate our Sears and Kmart footprint, consistent with our overall retail and service strategy,” Transformco said in a statement Thursday.


Earlier this year, the company had closed or said it would close around 90 Sears and Kmart stores.


For this latest round of closures, going out of business sales are expected to begin on Dec. 2. The company said Thursday all eligible store workers will be offered the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees prior to the bankruptcy filing.


In Pennsylvania, there are a total of seven Sears and Kmarts on the list.


The Sears at the Montgomery Mall in Montgomery County and the Lehigh Valley Mall in Lehigh County will close. As well as Kmart locations in Wilkes Barre, Williamsport, Lebanon, Berwick and Ephrata.


Sears and Kmart have been struggling in recent weeks to keep pace with competition from Amazon, as well as other box retailers quick to adopt technology, such as Walmart.


The company recently acquired Sears Hometown — a network of independently owned and operated, smaller stores that offer home products such as appliances, sporting goods and tools — that it hopes could help change its fortunes. If nothing else, Transformco said in its Thursday statement it expects to “realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate.”


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