By: Palm Beach Post, American-Statesman & Rare.us
Struggling retailer Sears Holdings is starting 2018 by announcing plans to close more than 100 Kmart and Sears stores nationwide.
In total, the latest round of closures includes 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores.
“We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members,” the company said in a statement.
Employees were told about the pending closures on Thursday. Liquidation sales could start as early as Jan. 12, the company said.
Brick-and-mortar stores are facing an uphill battle as online retailers continue to choke them off and 2018 might just be their worst year yet.
Business Insider spoke to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield about the upcoming year and their outlook was glum at best. One senior adviser told the outlet that “landlords are panicking,” and added that “last year was pretty apocalyptic from a retail standpoint, and the macro issues haven’t changed. There will continue to be a high degree of bankruptcies and store closures.” And, looking at the numbers, it’s pretty easy to see how terrible 2017 was for retailers. Here are a few of the most notable closures last year:
- Sears/Kmart – 358 stores
- J.C. Penney – 138 stores
- Macy’s – 68 stores
- Payless ShoeSource – 800-900 stores
- Gap – 200 stores
- Rue21 – 400 stores
- RadioShack – 1,000 stores
- The Limited – 250 stores
- American Apparel – 110 stores
According to Cushman & Wakefield’s , the number of stores closing their doors will only rise in 2018. The firm estimated that numbers could climb to over 12,000. Some retailers may even file for bankruptcy.
And as retailers begin to call it quits, America’s already-dwindling collection of active malls is poised to get even smaller, leaving us with more of those eerie post-apocalyptic images of malls in a state of disrepair.
And retailers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain. Some fast-food restaurants are also struggling to make ends meet; Subway was forced to close almost 1,000 stores in 2017.