Parent company Transform Holdco announced it will close 26 Sears and Kmart stores in late October, including the one at the mall on Security Square Boulevard. The Sears Auto Center at that location will close in late August.
Transform, also known as New Sears, acquired Sears Holdings Corp.'s assets for $5.2 billion after the iconic retailer filed for bankruptcy in October. Transform announced plans in June to buy Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores.
“Over the past several months, we have worked hard to strengthen our vendor relationships, return our inventory levels to normal, and improve customer satisfaction and operations; however, we have faced a number of challenges returning our stores to sustainable levels of productivity ... including a generally weak retail environment," the company said.
The retailer plans to continue expanding small-store formats, including opening more Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores. Home & Life and Sears Hometown stores are located in smaller markets and focus on appliances, mattresses, home goods and tools, featuring brands like Craftsman and Kenmore.
The company said it will continue to evaluate the Sears and Kmart store network and “cannot rule out additional store closures in the near term. Our goal remains to return the company to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible in the communities we serve.”
Eligible employees at affected Sears and Kmarts are being offered the same number of weeks of severance as Sears workers were given before the bankruptcy filing, Transform said.
As part of closures nationally, Sears had been shuttering Sears and Kmart stores in Maryland. In December, the retailer said it would close 80 stores by late March, including the Parkville Kmart and the Salisbury Sears. The owner now operates Sears stores at malls in Annapolis, Bel Air, Glen Burnie and White Marsh, and Kmart stores in Edgewater and Stevensville.