GOODBYE TO 60+ KMART STORES: Sears Holdings Corp. is reportedly closing more than 60 Kmart stores.
The parent company of Kmart last week notified Seritage Growth Properties that it would shutter 17 stores, and in the last few days there have been rumblings of another group of Kmart stores outside of the Seritage sites slated for closure. The Seritage notice involves the stores that were part of the sale-leaseback agreement with the REIT. Sears Holdings has said that it would review those store locations periodically, noting that as the space is recaptured by the REIT its rental obligations would decline over time.
In total, about 64 Kmart stores are set to shutter in mid-December. Local media reports across 13 states said that liquidation sales begin Sept. 22.
A Sears Holdings spokesman declined to confirm the number of store closures, but said an up-to-date list will be made available in the company’s next quarterly filing. Sears Holdings is expected to report third-quarter results in late November, and the quarterly report is typically filed a few days after that.
The Kmart nameplate and business headed to the top of the retail watch list after ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday lowered the parent firm’s speculative grade rating and raised questions on the cash burn rate and viability of the discounter’s operations. Sears Holdings has declined comment on the Moody’s report, but said it continues to use levers available to fund its transformation. A day after, the company tried to debunk rumblings of Kmart’s immediate demise — or at least through holidays — noting that its layaway program with no money down was returning for the season.