ARIZONA NEWS

Sears closing dozens of locations nationwide, including Phoenix store

May 31, 2018, 3:08 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
In this Thursday, March 29, 2018, photograph, the sign hangs over a set of doors leading to a Sears...
In this Thursday, March 29, 2018, photograph, the sign hangs over a set of doors leading to a Sears store in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX – Struggling retailer Sears announced Thursday it would shutter 62 of its department stores nationwide, with the Metrocenter Mall location the only Arizona store on the chopping block.

The company, which operates Sears and Kmart, considered closing 100 unprofitable stores, so there’s no guarantee Arizona’s other locations will go unscathed.

The list of stores that will close by early September contained 48 Sears and 15 Kmarts. Liquidation sales will begin as soon as June 14.

The auto center at the Metrocenter Sears was scheduled to shut down in late June.

There are other Sears in the Valley at Paradise Valley Mall and Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix, Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale and Chandler Fashion Center.

The Sears in Mesa’s Fiesta Mall and Kmarts in Casa Grande, Tolleson and Show Low were shuttered earlier this year.

There are only two Kmarts still in Arizona, in Lake Havasu City and Tucson.

After this round of closures, the company will have about 800 stores, down from about 1,000 at the end of last year and far below the 2012 peak of 4,000.

Sears also posted a quarterly loss of $424 million and said store closings already underway contributed to a drop of more than 30 percent in revenue.

Sales at established stores, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, tumbled nearly 12 percent, down 9.5 percent at Kmarts and 13.4 percent at Sears.

Rob Riecker, the company’s chief financial officer, said in a prerecorded call that the stores are “a critical component in our transformation.”

But to meet customer needs and improve financial results, Sears must close poorly performing stores and “focus on our best stores, including our newer smaller-store formats,” he said, according to a transcript of the call.

The latest closings underscore the deep-rooted problems for the former powerhouse retailer that survived two world wars and the Great Depression but has been calving off pieces of itself as it burns through money.

“The demise of Sears has felt like a prolonged, drip, drip, drip as evidenced by the string of quarterly sales numbers,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com senior economic analyst. “Essentially, it has been injury by a thousand cuts, whether by failing to staff stores to provide customers with good experiences or by failing to stock better quality merchandise in its stores.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sears closing dozens of locations nationwide, including Phoenix store