Sears To Close 80 Stores As Troubles Mount…(Middle Class Is Toast!!)

Thursday, May 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp posted a bigger loss for the first quarter as the struggling retailer failed to arrest a fall in sales despite offering heavy discounts to woo shoppers.

Shares of the company, which operates Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain, fell 7 percent in premarket trading.

Sears, controlled by hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert, has been shedding assets and closing stores as it battles the operating losses and weak sales that have plagued the company since 2005, when the two chains were merged.

The company said last week it was exploring a sale of its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada Inc .

Sears said on Thursday that a potential stake sale could raise about $730 million in cash at current market value.

On Wednesday, Sears Canada reported its steepest fall in quarterly sales in almost five years.

Sears said it would close 80 stores or more in the year ending January. The retailer operated 1,980 Sears and Kmart stores in the United States as of February.

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