Sears, Kmart to close 120 stores, Springs’ status uncertain

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Sears Holdings announced today that it plans to close 100 to 120 Kmart and Sears stores nationally, but it’s unknown whether Colorado Springs locations are on the list.

Local store managers did not  return calls for comment.

Sears has a store in the Chapel Hills Mall at 1650 Briargate Blvd. and a stand-alone location in the Broadmoor Towne Center at 2050 Southgate Rd. Kmart has a location at 3020 N. Nevada Ave. and another at 5885 Palmer Park Blvd.

Sears Holdings said in a press release that it plans to close up to 120 underperforming Sears and Kmart stores and cut inventory by $300 million in 2012 from its $10.2 billion level in 2011.

The need for the reduction comes from declining comparable store sales, according to the release. Kmart’s sales in existing stores fell 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.8 percent year-to-date. Sears sales slipped 6 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.3 percent year-to-date.

“While our past practice has been to keep marginally performing stores open while we worked to improve their performance. We no longer believe that to be the appropriate action in this environment,” a representative said in a press release.

The company aims to reduce its debt and eliminate $100 to $200 million in fixed costs while concentrating efforts on successful stores. Sears Holdings will focus on improving gross profit dollars through better inventory management and more targeted pricing and promotion.