Tags: Sears | Chicago | Store | Sales

Sears to Close Namesake Chicago Store as Sales Fall

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 07:46 PM

Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close its loss-making namesake store in downtown Chicago as it continues to shrink its location base and divest assets amid a decline in sales.

Sears will shutter the store at 2 N. State St. in Chicago’s Loop business district in April, Howard Riefs, a spokesman, said Tuesday in an e-mail. The store employs about 160 mainly part-time staff, and those eligible will receive severance and be able to apply for positions in the company’s other stores in the Chicago area, he said.

“The store has lost millions of dollars since opening and we can no longer continue to support the store’s operating losses,” said Riefs.

The closing will end the company’s presence in Chicago’s prominent shopping district as the retailer sells assets to cut expenses and raise cash. Sears’s stock dropped the most in more than a year on Jan. 10, after it forecast a fourth-quarter loss and said sales during the holiday period dropped.

The company’s departure from State Street further diminishes Sears’s once-dominant presence downtown. The Sears Tower, the city’s tallest building, changed its name to Willis Tower in 2009 after insurer Willis Group Holdings Ltd. moved in. The 40-year-old tower once housed the retailer’s headquarters before it moved to its current location in Hoffman Estates.

Sears will continue to lease space in the State Street building’s fourth floor where more than 150 employees work in its online and information technology units. Three Sears stores will remain within the city limits, Riefs said.

The retailer had 2,018 U.S. Sears and Kmart stores as of Nov. 2.

The store closing was reported earlier by Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close its unprofitable namesake store in downtown Chicago as it continues to shrink its location base and divest assets amid a decline in sales.
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2014-46-21
Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 07:46 PM
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