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Sears Marks 40 Stores For Closure While Laying Out Its Black Friday Playbook

The struggling retailer is "humbled" by an outpouring of customer support.

Promising competitive pricing and a compelling product assortment for the holidays, Sears and sister chain Kmart have revealed their Thanksgiving and Black Friday store hours and top doorbuster specials, as the company added 40 more stores to its restructuring hit list.

For Sears, Black Friday will begin in earnest Thanksgiving evening, when stores will open at 6:00 p.m. and remain open through midnight. Doors will reopen and the sale will resume at 5:00 a.m. Black Friday morning.

The chain’s 16-page sales ad running now through Thanksgiving weekend is heavy on Kenmore appliance deals, including, as touted on the cover, a 26.1-cubic-foot Kenmore French door refrigerator in black stainless for $890, a 55 percent savings from its regular $2,000 retail.

In contrast, Kmart will continue its tradition of pre-dawn openings by welcoming customers at 6:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Stores will close that evening at midnight and re-open at 6:00 a.m. on Black Friday morning. According to Kmart’s 12-page Black Friday ad, shoppers will find plenty of deals on toys, apparel, jewelry and housewares, but no tech or appliance doorbusters.

“We want our members and customers to know that we’re open to serve them online and in stores, both at Kmart and at Sears,” said Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart and president of the company’s Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard private labels.

See: Attention Sears And Kmart Shoppers: ‘We’re Open For Business’

Addressing Sears’ ongoing restructuring efforts under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Boutros described the outpouring of customer support as “humbling,” and said he is “very optimistic about our prospects this holiday because we’ve made several strategic decisions to put the right people, brands, products and services in place to meet all of our shopper’s holiday wishes.”

But as part of that restructuring, Sears marked another 25 Sears and 11 Kmart stores for closure, on top of the 142 that were targeted for shutdown at the time of the bankruptcy filing. Liquidation sales are to begin next week, and the 40 latest stores will shut permanently in February.

Sears is also shuttering 46 locations this month that were previously slated for closure.

As part of its reorganization plan, the company is looking to pare back its store base to about 400 locations, down from the 687 in operation at the time of the filing. Nearly 3,500 Sears and Kmart stores blanketed the country when the two chains merged in 2004.

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