CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Sears, once the dominant big box retailer with thousands of stores around the United States, continues to see its footprint decimated as its owner fights to bring it back from the brink.
Sears owner Transformco announced Thursday it has obtained $250 million in new capital, money intended to help fuel the company’s turnaround after it obtained essentially all of Sears Holding Company’s assets during its bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year. But still, the company says it will be forced to shutter another 96 Sears and Kmart stores in 30 states by February 2020, continuing a trend that’s been accelerating for months.
The new closures will affect a handful of stores in Southern California, including one located at 565 Broadway in Chula Vista.
Following the closures, the company will operate just 182 stores, down from nearly 700 when it filed for bankruptcy in October of last year.
“We will continue to evaluate our Sears and Kmart footprint, consistent with our overall retail and service strategy,” Transformco said in a statement Thursday.
Earlier this year, the company had closed or said it would close around 90 Sears and Kmart stores.
For this latest round of closures, going out of business sales are expected to begin on December 2. The company said Thursday all eligible store workers will be offered the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees prior to the bankruptcy filing.
Sears and Kmart have been struggling in recent weeks to keep pace with competition from Amazon, as well as other box retailers quick to adopt technology, such as Walmart.
The company recently acquired Sears Hometown — a network of independently owned and operated, smaller stores that offer home products such as appliances, sporting goods and tools — that it hopes could help change its fortunes. If nothing else, Transformco said in its Thursday statement it expects to “realize a significant return on our extensive portfolio of owned and leased real estate.”