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Sears Closing More Kmart Stores

Sears Holdings has added another 28 Kmart stores to its list of locations targeted for shuttering this year.

The announcement came with the release of the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings, which showed a steep, albeit lessened net loss of $251 million for the three months ended July 29.

The doomed Kmart stores will be closed later this year, Sears said, with liquidation sales beginning as early as Aug. 31.

See list of impacted Kmart stores here.

They will join the 180 or so Sears and Kmart locations that have been shuttered year to date, and an additional 150 previously-announced stores that are expected to close by the end of the third quarter.

Sears said shutting underperforming stores has contributed to nearly $1.3 billion in annualized cost savings, while transforming its business model “so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.”

The cost reductions contributed to last quarter’s narrowed net loss, from $395 billion to $251 billion, although the store closings contributed about $770 million to the company’s 23 percent net sales decline, to $4.4 billion.

A reduction in Sears’ CE assortment also impacted sales totals, the retailer said.

Indeed, comparable store sales at Sears stores fell 13.2 percent including CE and 12.1 percent without, while Kmart comps declined 9.4 percent with the category and 6.8 percent without CE and pharmacy – another department that’s being trimmed.

“We are making progress on the strategic priorities we outlined earlier this year and remain focused on returning our company to profitability,” chairman/CEO Eddie Lampert said in a statement. “The comprehensive restructuring of our operations is delivering cost efficiencies and helping drive improvements to our operating performance. While the third quarter has historically been our most difficult quarter over the past several years, we are working towards making meaningful improvement in our performance this year as a result of the restructuring actions we have put in place, and our continued focus on the expansion of our Shop Your Way [omnichannel] ecosystem.”