Sears Hometown Store closing in Lompoc

Sears to close at least 72 more stores

Despite aggressively closing its worst-performing Sears and Kmart locations in recent years, same-store sales tumbled 11.9 percent in the first quarter after falling 15.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Sears posted a quarterly loss of $424 million and said store closings already underway contributed to a drop of more than 30 percent in revenue. The department store retailer's net revenues fell 31% year over year, to $2.89 billion.

Even though the current retail environment is hard for many retailers, Sears' performance has been much worse than its rivals. Liquidation sales at the affected locations could start as soon as June 14.

The company originally announced the closure of 72 stores, but pulled nine from the list for further evaluation, according to a news release sent Thursday afternoon. Earlier this year, the company shuttered locations in Wilmington and Asheville as well as five other stores in the state. It also closed its stores in the Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights in January and in Regency mall in Henrico County in September.

"It is disappointing to hear that Sears will be leaving Genesee Valley Center, they have been a tenant of ours since the mall first opened in 1971", Miles McFee, general manager of the Genesee Valley Center, said in an emailed statement. The retail property is owned by Jericho-based Elias Properties.

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However, Sears noted that while total comparable store sales declined, it experienced positive comparable store sales at both Kmart and Sears in several categories, including apparel, footwear and jewelry.

Sears has scrambled to close stores and sell off real estate, and has cashed in its Craftsman, Stanley Black & Decker and Lands' End brands, but critics aren't sure how much longer the company can stave off bankruptcy.

Green expects to see Sears close even more stores.

ESL Investments is the hedge fund of Sears Chief Executive Officer Edward Lampert.

The company also has announced plans to sell its Kenmore line of appliances and partner with Amazon.com to sell tires in an effort to stay afloat financially.

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