If Kmart And Sears Stores Close Without A National Press Release, Does Anyone Notice?

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Last week, department store chain Macy’s announced its holiday season results and its plans to close 40 stores in the coming months. Shoe retailer Finish Line announced plans to close 150 stores by the year 2020. Yet what you never hear about in the national news anymore is how many stores Sears Holdings, corporate parent of Sears and Kmart, is planning to close, even as they continue to shut down underperforming stores.

Today, Sears Holdings caught the attention of the Los Angeles Times by announcing that multiple Kmart stores in the state of California would be closing. If your local store is staying open (or is long gone) or you don’t run a Google alert on the subject, you might not even realize that the company is closing any stores at all. Yet Sears Holdings has actually shed a lot of stores in the last half-decade, without splashy national announcements that would make non-locals notice.

Their annual report from last year shows that they ended fiscal year 2010 (which ended on January 31, 2011–yeah, finance is weird) with 3,949 stores, and ended fiscal year 2014 with 1,725 stores. Update: a Sears spokesperson clarified that this tally isn’t as dramatic as it seems: 1,238 of those stores that seemed to disappear from the national total in the last five years were actually part of Sears Outlet and Hometown, which were spun off into a separate company back in 2012. Most of those stores are still open, and sell Sears merchandise under different ownership.

There’s nothing wrong with closing stores, or closing them without announcing it nationally. Sears Holdings had too many stores, many of which are too big for its current needs. It’s disruptive and terrible when people lose their jobs, and can be very inconvenient for customers, but closing underperforming stores or giving up a location when the lease is up is how a business survives. (Sometimes not closing stores dooms a business faster: ask Radio Shack.)

The lack of store closing list releases means fewer “Sears is doomed!” stories in the news, which the company would certainly prefer. Yet once we noticed this pattern, we looked through news reports for scheduled closings in 2016.

Sears Holdings only makes this information public to local news outlets, and updates the number of remaining stores in their quarterly reports to shareholders. By putting together those local news reports, we can find most of them: let us know if your local Kmart or Sears has announced plans to close, and we’ll put it on the list.

Last updated: April 14, 2016

State Town Closing Date Store type
AL Dothan March Kmart
AL Florence March Kmart
AL Montgomery June Sears and Sears Auto Center
AL Prattville March Kmart
AZ Prescott Valley April Kmart
CA Anaheim March Kmart
CA Chula Vista March Kmart
CA Citrus Heights April Kmart
CA San Mateo April Sears
CO Brighton April Kmart
CO Fort Collins May Kmart
FL Lutz March Kmart
FL Daytona March Kmart
GA Carrolton April Kmart
GA Dublin April Kmart
GA Milledgeville April Kmart
GA Rome March Sears and Sears Auto Center
HI Honolulu March Kmart
IA Ottumwa April Kmart
ID Pocatello April Kmart
IL Bradley  May Kmart
IL Canton April Kmart
IL Morton April Kmart
IN Bloomington June Sears
IN Terre Haute April Kmart
KS Topeka April Kmart
MA Fall River May Kmart
MI Fort Gratiot March Sears and Sears Auto Center
MI Ironwood April Kmart
MN Dundas April Kmart
MN Virginia April Kmart
NE Omaha March Kmart
NJ Lodi April Kmart
NM Albuquerque June Sears Auto Center closing – Sears store will shrink by 50%
NY Staten Island February Sears Auto Center
OH Boardman April Kmart
OH Canton April Kmart
OH Lancaster May Kmart
OH Sandusky June Sears and Sears Auto Center
OH Steubenville April Kmart
OH Steubenville June Sears and Sears Auto Center
OH Warren April Kmart
PA Monaca June Sears and Sears Auto Center
PA Quakertown May Kmart
PA Scranton July Sears and Sears Auto Center
SC North Augusta May Kmart
SD Mitchell April Kmart
SD Pierre March Kmart
TN Cleveland March Kmart
TN Murfreesboro April Kmart
UT Logan April Kmart
UT Richfield April Kmart
VA Cedar Bluff April Kmart
VA Chester July Kmart
VA Covington March Kmart
VA Virginia Beach  April Kmart
VT South Burlington January Kmart
WI Superior  April Kmart


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