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Nearly A Dozen Sears, Kmarts To Close In The State

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(SOURCE: Mario Tama/Getty Images) A Sears store sign in Brooklyn

(SOURCE: Mario Tama/Getty Images) A Sears store sign in Brooklyn

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Nearly a dozen Florida Sears and Kmart stores are on a list released by Sears Holdings which will be closed due to poor sales during the 2011 Christmas shopping season.

On Tuesday, the Chicago-based company revealed its plan Tuesday, but did not name the 100 to 120 stores that it planned to close.  A partial list was released of 79 stores was released on Thursday.  Of the eleven stores named on the list, two are in South Florida; the Sears location on Forrest Hill Boulevard in West Palm Beach and Kmart in Pompano Beach on Federal Highway.

In South Florida, Sears has 14 stores from Key West to West Palm Beach, most in major malls, while Kmart has about 20 stores in the area, most of them in strip shopping centers.

“For value and the times being hard, you could always count on places like Sears,” said Monica Allen who regularly shops the Sears store in Ft. Lauderdale.

“I don’t shop here a lot for clothing or appliances, but I do shop for the tools,” said Robert Black.

The two companies merged 7 years ago, and have since shared product lines like Sears’ iconic Craftsman tools. The stores have been managed by Sears Holdings.

Sears Holdings said sales at stores open at least a year, a closely watched retail measure known as same-store sales, fell 5.2% in the eight weeks that ended Christmas Day. Sales at Kmart stores dropped 4.5%, while sliding 6% at domestic Sears stores.

“Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce on-going expenses,” said Lou D’Ambrosio, CEO of the company.

The poor results for Sears and Kmart were in contrast to the rest of the retail industry. The National Retail Federation forecast that holiday sales would be up 2.3% this year, a target that was helped by record Black Friday sales following Thanksgiving. Final results are still pending, but other major retailers are reporting better-than-anticipated holiday results.

Analysts say most of the Kmart closings are likely to be outside the Northeast and the Midwest, while Sears will be looking at stores in shopping malls that are having trouble attracting customers.

 

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