Retail giants Sears and Macy’s announced sweeping plans this week to close more than 200 stores nationwide following disappointing holiday sales results.
Sears Holdings will shutter 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears locations over the next few months. The company did not say how many workers would be affected by the changes but noted that most were part-time employees.
Sears shut down 78 stores last year and more than 200 in 2015. This latest move will leave the retailer with fewer than 1,500 stores in the United States, down from more than 3,500 in 2011.
The announcement came the same day Sears revealed plans to sell its iconic Craftsman tools business to Stanley Black & Decker for $900 million to help pay off mounting debt.
Meanwhile, Macy’s released a list of 68 locations that will close by the middle of next year, part of a previously-announced plan to shut 100 stores. The moves will result in a loss of more than 6,200 jobs. This comes after the company announced a disappointing 2.1 percent decrease in November and December sales compared to last year.
“While our sales trend is consistent with the lower end of our guidance, we had anticipated sales would be stronger,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement. “We believe that our performance during the holiday season reflects the broader challenges facing much of the retail industry.”
Perhaps the biggest of those challenges is the emergence of Amazon as an e-commerce behemoth. While traditional big-box retailers have refocused their efforts on online shopping, data from Slice Intelligence found that Amazon was responsible for 38 percent of the 2016 holiday market, which doesn’t leave a particularly large piece of the pie for everyone else.