Marion Sears to close in late July

Staff report

MARION — A Sears store in Marion along with nine other locations and 68 Kmarts across the country will be closed this summer, Sears Holdings announced Thursday.

The 1377 Marion Waldo Road location at Soutland Mall was bought by Sears Development Company in 2006, according to the Marion County Auditor’s office.

In February, the company said that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores. All of the Sears stores and nearly all of the Kmart stores will close in late July.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” said Edward S. Lampert, chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings. “We’re focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation.”

Sears Holdings expects the store closures to generate a meaningful level of cash from the liquidation of store inventory and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate. Together with the over $1.2 billion in debt financing that Sears Holdings announced it had raised earlier this month to provide capital to execute its transformation and to meet its financial obligations, the company said it has taken important steps toward its primary 2016 objective to restore profitability.

Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores.

“We are committed to treating these associates with respect and compassion during this process,” Lampert said.

“Sears Holdings will continue to transform as the role of the store evolves to fit the way that members want to shop,” he added. “Through our continued investments in Integrated Retail, our stores are a critical component of our strategy as we provide our members with industry-leading innovations such as Meet with an Expert, In-Vehicle Pickup and Return and Exchange in Five.”

The closing Kmart and Sears stores will start their liquidation sales on May 12 and April 29, respectively.

Staff report

Email local news to [email protected] Follow the Galion Inquirer on Twitter @GalionNews.

Email local news to [email protected] Follow the Galion Inquirer on Twitter @GalionNews.