More Sears and Kmart stores are on the chopping block.
After closing thousands of stores over the years, and nearly six months after emerging from bankruptcy with about 425 stores, the two retailers' parent company announced Tuesday that 21 Sears and five Kmart stores will close in late October.
“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October,” the company statement said, noting the Sears Auto Centers at many of the stores will close in late August. Liquidation sales are expected to begin around Aug. 15.
Larry Costello, a Sears and Kmart spokesman, said Wednesday the company has “about 380 stores that remain open and we are focused on helping those stores thrive in their respective markets.”
The number of store employees impacted by the closings was not available, but according to the company statement, eligible associates "will be offered the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees of Sears Holdings Corporation prior to that company’s Chapter 11 filing in October 2018.”
More store closings coming: An estimated 12,000 shops could close by the end of 2019
Walgreens store closings: Drugstore chain plans to close 200 U.S. stores, according to new SEC filing
This is the first list of closures the company has posted on its corporate website since Dec. 28.
In February, former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert struck a last-minute deal to buy Sears assets out of bankruptcy and keep about 400 stores open under a new entity, Transform Holdco. In Tuesday's statement, the company calls itself TransformCo.
Lampert, who relinquished the CEO role when the company filed for bankruptcy, was the company's largest shareholder and creditor at the time of the bankruptcy.
Tuesday's statement noted the company has "faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity, including differences with Sears Holdings over our purchase agreement and a generally weak retail environment."
“After careful review of where we are today, we believe the right course for the company is to accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores after the Sears Hometown and Outlet transaction closes,” the Sears statement said.
In May, the first three Sears Home & Life stores opened, which marked a new chapter with openings instead of closings.
However, more closings are still a possibility, the company warned.
“Following these steps, we will continue to evaluate our network of Sears and Kmart stores and cannot rule out additional store closures in the near term,” the statement said. “Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”
Eight months into 2019, retailers have announced more than 7,600 store closures. In 2018, Coresight Research tracked the 5,864 closings.
Kmart store closings
Redlands: 1625 W Redlands
Desert Hot Springs: 14011 Palm Drive
Palmer: 159 Wilbraham Road
Jamestown: 975 Fairmount Ave.
Guayama: Puerto Rico Hwy 3 Plaza Guayama
Birmingham: 2500 Riverchase Galleria
Antioch: Somersville Road
Littleton: 8501 W Bowles Ave.
Vero Beach: 6200 20th St.
Sebring: 901 US 27 N
Athens: 3700 Atlanta Hwy Ste 270
Bloomingdale: 5 Stratford Square
Merrillville: 2300 Southlake Mall
Mishawaka: 6501 Grape Rd Us 23
Baltimore: 6901 Security Sq Blvd.
Portage: 6780 S Westnedge Ave.
Saginaw: 4900 Fashion Square Mall
Independence: 18777 E 39th St.
St. Peters: 3 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
Cape Girardeau: 330 Siemers Drive
Mansfield: 600 Richland Mall
Hurst: 1101 Melbourne Rd.
Texas City:10000 Emmett F Lowry Expressway
Roanoke: 4812 Valley View Blvd. NE
Spokane: 4700 N Division St.
Barboursville: 100 Huntington Mall Road
Contributing: Nathan Bomey and Charisse Jones
Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sears and Kmart store closings 2019: 26 stores to close in October