Sears Survived Black Friday But Plans to Sell 505 Stores, Report Says
Despite securing a loan to stay open during the holiday shopping season, Sears Holding Corp. has filed a court document identifying more than 500 stores it plans to sell as part of a plan to save the retail brand, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Facing $10 billion in debt, the Illinois-based department store chain filed for bankruptcy protection in October. After a boost from $600 million in new loans, Sears Holdings, which owns both Sears and Kmart, reportedly planned to remain open but shutter 142 stores on top of the 46 that were already set to close prior to filing for Chapter 11.
That number has increased more than twofold. A recent court filing reveals that the company plans to reduce its real estate portfolio by selling 505 Sears and Kmart brand stores and leases. It will also ask landlords of its profitable stores for a rent reduction. Stores under new ownership may remain open under the Sears or Kmart brands.
The court document was filed after Black Friday, a holiday shopping season-starter that every major retailer banks on. Like its peers, Sears, which has been in business since 1886, offered discounts and deals over the Thanksgiving holiday on clothing, home goods, and apparel.
This year, however, the five day period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday brought in fewer shoppers than last year, and the average shopper spent less money than in 2017, according to a report by the National Retail Foundation.
Correction, Nov. 28, 2018: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Sears’ real estate plans. The retailer expects to sell hundreds of stores, but those locations may remain open for business post-sale.