First Sears And Kmart Closings Of 2012 Concentrated In Midwest And South

Sears Holdings, owner of the perpetually troubled retailer power couple Sears and Kmart, has released the locations of 80 out of the 100 to 120 “under-performing” stores that will close in the coming months. Most of the stores on this first list are in the southern and midwestern U.S.

Here’s the the list as an embedded document, and you can also download the PDF directly.

List of Sears stores closing

Looking at the Sears Holdings statement on the closings, a few bullet points stand out to us from a consumer advocacy point of view. Here are two of the cost-cutting measures they mention:

  • Excluding the effect of store closures, we currently expect to reduce 2012 peak domestic inventory by $300 million from the 2011 level of $10.2 billion at the end of the third quarter as a result of cost decreases in apparel, tighter buys and a lower inventory position at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  • Focus on improving gross profit dollars through better inventory management and more targeted pricing and promotion.

Consumerist readers love to visit Sears and Kmart when they have great deals and when Sears offers site-to-store shipping: if they can get that “inventory control” thing nailed down, maybe we can stop using the “Sears needs personal space” tag so frequently. Then they just need to fix the dingy stores, indifferent employees, and…

Sears Holdings Provides Update [Press Release]
Store Closings 12/27/11 [Sears Holdings]
Sears To Shutter 100 To 120 Sears & Kmart Stores After Disappointing Holiday Sales
Sears Lost $421 Million Last Quarter, Didn’t Spend It Fixing Up Stores


Edit Your Comment

  1. Velifer says:

    So now where do I go to replace this welding rod/screwdriver that’s all melty?

  2. r-nice says:

    I hope all the folks losing their jobs because of this are able to find work.

  3. LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

    After my experience this Christmas with Kmart, I say good riddance. I feel for those losing jobs in this crappy economy, but the Sears / Kmart frankenmonster is a blight that needs to die right NOW.

  4. cbutler says:

    “Focus on improving gross profit dollars through better inventory management and more targeted pricing and promotion.”

    They should add customers service, reduce employee idiocy, and retarded policies.

  5. CharlesFarley says:

    They aren’t even good enough to rate as an Amazon showroom.

  6. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Not surprised to see the Crestwood, MO store on the list. It’s in a dead mall and without that anchor store, I think the only reason left to go there is the movie theater and the anime store.

    • EdnasEdibles says:

      Also, I think the owners of the mall just announced a mall makeover. I know all of the artists are going to have to leave and from what I’ve read they’re going to focus more on a movie theatre and other things there rather than retail. An old crumbly Sears wasn’t part of the plans, probably.

      (And there’s an anime store there? Where? Old Dillards side or Old Famous side?)

  7. Patriot says:

    The only reason I ever goto K-Mart is because there are hardly any people there and I don’t have to be harassed by employees because there are hardly any around. However the selection is poor and the prices higher than Wal-Mart. If they want to stay in business they have to invest in their infrastructure. K-Marts are almost universally rundown dumps.

  8. andyross says:

    Interesting that there are no Illinois stores in the current list. Given the tax break they were given a few weeks ago, they obviously knew that closing any stores here would have been a PR nightmare.

    • cosmic.charlie says:

      Yeah especially with Quinn’s statements earlier this week. Glad that bribery and threats are still alive and well in business/government in Illinois.

  9. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    “more targeted pricing and promotion.”

    Here come the store card pushes! It’s like Barnes and Noble, part 2! As soon as a store starts seriously pushing store credit cards / rewards programs with a fee, you know they’re on their deathbed.

  10. Cyniconvention says:

    One of the Kmart locations is in one of these tiny, rundown cities nearby. The same book at Amazon for $8 and Target at 9$ is at Kmart for $13.

    I also saw a coloring book from the Glory Merchandise Days of Harry Potter – AKA; 2002.

    I feel for those losing jobs, but Kmart is just…bad.

  11. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    I only use Sears for Lands’ End returns. I guess now that I see that store on the closure list I will have to make returns by mail.

  12. Firevine says:

    A few of those ones in Georgia are in really, really sketchy areas. No wonder. Yay, more urban decay!

  13. MrEvil says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Sears to renovate their stores in any meaningful fashion. Sears Holdings has become more interested in managing hedge funds than running a retail store. They’ve been using the money Sears/KMart makes to fund their investments.

  14. Gehasst says:

    I used to work at Kmart while in college. They way they run those stores, is the reason they are where they are. Most Kmarts are all the same, understaffed, usually only 3 registers open no matter the time of day or day of the week, its always HOT in the store no matter the season, getting the correct price for your item is like pulling teeth, always dirty and messy, and the list goes on. I’ve seen this same issue at 5 different Kmarts in two states including the on I worked at in IL.

    Looks like the Sears in Crestwood Plaza in Crestwood, MO is closing. That mall has been about 75% vacant for years, so no surprise there. Last time I had a Sears gift card (last summer) I went in, and I saw no other customers and a total of 3 people working in the entire store.

  15. maxhobbs says:

    Wow, they are closing the Super KMart in Medina, OH. That was the very first Super KMart, I was there when it opened.

  16. mearow says:

    I went to Kmart to look for Christmas tree ornament hooks that somehow disappeared from my stash of ornaments. Amazon wanted $8 to ship them. I walked out with $40 of Christmas items. They had 10+ rows full of Christmas ornaments and food gift boxes. I snagged 4 snowman hot cocoa mugs boxes (for my kids), several gingerbread man kits (for my daughter), and the entire display box of solar LED lights for when our power goes off (often, had 2 windstorms just this week). Oh, and the hooks for 50 cents.

    The store was bright. Aisles were huge, you could run a fork-lift thru. I saw more employees than customers.

    At the check-out stand, I expected a hassle getting the 50% off, but everything rang up quickly. The clerk even rang up the LED lights as a group, instead of running each one thru. Blessing to the guy behind me. When I paid with my card, there was a screen, “Would You Recommend this Store to Others?” and several choices between Highly Likely and Not Likely. Yeah, for Christmas items, if you need hooks and mugs. But the other 10 rows of merchandise, I didn’t even look at.

  17. Kuri says:

    I bet the executives have their golden parachutes ready.

  18. centurion says:

    I really hopr they close my local Kmart, it’s horrible in every way.

  19. Jevia says:

    Too bad about the Upper Darby Sears, but not surprised. That area has been trying to revitalize itself, but the recession hit it hard. I did like that when I went there, there were plenty of sales associates to help me (because of the fewer customers I suppose). Plus, they always seemed to have what I wanted, unlike the Sears at the big mall 10 miles away (which, of course, has lots more customers).

    • mbz32190 says:

      This store also had problems with “flash mobs” earlier this year looting the place-probably didn’t help too much.

  20. Outrun1986 says:

    A lot of Sears stores were in strip malls, which have been hit very hard by the recession, so I think some of these closings will have to do with that.

    Kmart’s prices are double or more Walmart’s prices on everyday, non sale items, making it a basically worthless destination for deal hunting shoppers. Its like paying corner store prices in a B&M store. There clearance is not what it used to be, so those deals are off.

    The store is a dump here, it hasn’t been touched since the 1980’s, but they have put in annoying flat screen TV’s in the clothing department so they can broadcast loud commericals and annoying music videos in your ears. Instead of actually investing in the stores they put in something completely pointless that probably costs them a decent amount of money. They could have used that money to just keep prices at Walmart and Target levels or to renovate the store so that it doesn’t look like its 30 years in the past.

    The store here is fully stocked with Christmas merchandise, it looks like nothing was even sold. The Christmas merchandise has sold from every other area store. They are going to have a lot of unsold product on their hands this holiday season.

  21. Yeah Right says:

    We went shopping at a local Sears (one they are not closing) and it was difficult to find a sales clerk. The store was definitely in need of an update.

  22. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Mine’s not on there. I kind of wish the Kmart near me would magically turn into a Target, but I don’t know if Target would want a store right across the road from a Walmart Supercenter. Although if Kmart closed, I would not be able to get my VO5 detangler anywhere.

  23. thatfunkylady says:

    Damn, my store isn’t closing. I was hoping to end the year with some good news!

  24. XTREME TOW says:

    I stopped shopping at Sears 30 years ago due to very poor customer service. My only question is: why did it take so long?
    If you are a Sears employee reading this: now you know why you are out of a job!

  25. carlogesualdo says:

    I wondered how long it would take for KMart to ruin Sears when they bought Sears after they emerged from bankruptcy. Only a few years…

  26. mcgyver210 says:

    Sears has lost thousands from me basically over a few Tape Measures & bad service.

    It was inevitable after K-Mart was aloud to purchase sears right after their Bankruptcy they would kill Sears reputation. Sears has steadily went down hill since K-Mart came into the picture.

    I used to love to go in Sears (I always had to park near SEARS no matter which store I was going to in the mall) looking at mostly tools but also other stuff they sold. Everything pretty much was made in USA with a Forever Warranty that was actually honored. But now allot of the tools are China JUNK IMO which I can get at other retailers cheaper if that is what I want,

    I say Good Riddance to a once GREAT Company that forgot their roots & lost the trust of the most important thing their Customers.

  27. gman863 says:

    Although Sears’ mall stores are horribly outdated, they have wasted tens of millions on a failed attempt to convert dozens (hundreds?) of Kmart locations into “Sears Essentials” stores.

    Look at the number of “Grand/Essentials” stores on the current (and previous) death lists. Each started life as a Kmart…then remodeled into a “Big Kmart”…then a Sears Essentials.

    The lipstick-on-a-pig conversions consisted of shrinking the consumables (health, beauty, paper products, food, etc.) to the size of a 7-11 store and using the additional space to add major appliances and an expanded tool department.

    I used to live in Mobile; seeing that the store on Halls Mill is closing is no surprise. The few times I actually went there finding a parking spot was sweet – at most, there were 30 or so cars (and customers) in the store at any one time – about one fifth as many as the Lowe’s half a mile away and maybe 5% of the traffic at the Walmart around the corner.

  28. CPC says:

    The two nearest Kmarts to me are staying open (for now). They finally upgraded them a few years back when they merged with Sears. Until then, they still had merchandise from the ’90s sitting on the shelves, faded by about a decade of fluorescent light! They’re still pretty much ghost towns: I don’t know how they make money. However, two nearby Sears are closing. One is in a small town, and the other is in a dead mall. This will probably kill it for good.

  29. skakh says:

    Amazing that Sears and Kmart still exist! I have not spent a single dollar in either a Sears or a Kmart in over a decade. Horrible stores in terrible locations. Kmart actually makes Walmart seem upscale.

  30. watcher says:

    After seeing the closing list I went into one of the stores slated to close. It’s easy to see why it’s closing. Overall the place was a dump, with merchandise and shelf tags all over the floor, the shelves unorganized, a lot of empty space, and three employees manning the floor. It was an OLD store (probably from the late 60s or early 70s) based on the dozen or more different colors of tile on floor.

    Hints when trying to update a Kmart:
    1. Replace all the old floor tile with the same color and size of tile.
    2. Remove the colored tape from the floor that separates the departments. You did that back in the 80s, and it looked tacky then.
    3. Replace the 1960s counters with new ones that are not eight feet tall.
    4. Replace the ceiling and lights.
    5. Make sure the shelves are stocked with current products.
    6. Get rid of old inventory, and don’t try and sell used/opened products as new.
    7. Hire people who at least look like they give a hoot.
    8. Change the front entrance of stores so that they don’t look like a prison entrance.
    9. Remove the pallets of “merchandise” from the sales floor.
    10. Quit trying to model your stores after Wal-Marts as they are also dumps; rather; occasionally look at what your competitors such as Target and Kohls are doing.

  31. amuro98 says:

    Well, of course they’re focusing on the Midwest and South. I’m in California and the last Kmart within 40 miles of me closed over a decade ago. The Sears stores have been closing too.

  32. Outrun1986 says:

    Ok I have another rant:

    Get rid of all expired foods, or just get rid of the food department altogether. I am not touching it after what I have seen at my local Kmarts, and yes I have complained, and nothing is being done about it. Food department manager denies it is even going on. This is probably the worst complaint I have about Kmart, I wouldn’t feed food stocked in Kmart to the homeless. To give you an idea I have seen them actually stock milk on shelves, (non refrigerated shelves) when the refrigerated case was 2 feet behind the shelf. The milk was just sitting there on a random shelf. I have found things on their shelves that are literately years old.