Kmart, Sears

Riverside Kmart Slated For Closure In Early 2017

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) – A Riverside Kmart store is among 32 Kmart and Sears outlets throughout the country due to be shuttered in the first months of 2017, it was confirmed Friday.

Business Insider obtained a list showing the stores slated to be closed under a reorganization plan initiated by Sears Holdings following more than a year of net losses and cratering stock prices. Among them is a Kmart located at 3001 Iowa Ave.

“We are making the difficult but necessary decision to close the Kmart store at 3001 Iowa Ave in Riverside,” Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman Howard Riefs told City News Service. “The store will close to the public in late March. Until then, the store will remain open for customers (and) will begin its liquidation sale on January 6.”

Riefs declined to disclose the number of employees who will be unemployed as a result of the closure.

Two Kmart stores will remain in operation in Riverside after the Iowa Avenue closure.

Riefs said that Sears Holdings executives have been “strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores.”

The Iowa Avenue Kmart, a couple of miles from the UC Riverside campus, is the only California outlet on the list. Other stores are located in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Washington and West Virginia.

Sears Holdings Corp. reported a $748 million loss in its third-quarter report. Share prices have been cut in half over the last year.

A rash of store closings was announced over the summer as the retailer struggled to regain shareholder confidence amid anemic sales. Earlier this month, Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert, the venture capitalist who oversaw the Kmart-Sears merger in 2005, said he believed the current reorganization will be key to “improving gross margin performance.”

After the latest round of closures is completed, fewer than 1,500 brick-and-mortar Sears and Kmart outlets will remain — down from 3,500 in 2010, according to published reports.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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