Advertisement
  1. Business

Two Tampa locations among dozens of stores being closed by Sears

Sears is closing another 72 stores after reporting a first-quarter losses and plunging sales. The struggling retailer said Thursday, May 31, 2018 that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning profits, and 72 of those locations will be shuttered soon. [Associated Press]
Sears is closing another 72 stores after reporting a first-quarter losses and plunging sales. The struggling retailer said Thursday, May 31, 2018 that it has identified about 100 stores that are no longer turning profits, and 72 of those locations will be shuttered soon. [Associated Press]
Published Jun. 6, 2018

After more than six years of shrinking sales, the parent company of Sears and Kmart announced Thursday it would shutter another 63 stores.

Two more regional stores under Sears Holdings, both of them in Tampa, are in the latest round. Kmart on Busch Boulevard and Sears at Citrus Town Center will close in September. That Sears' auto center will close by late June.

Since the start of the year, a total of two Sears and three Kmart stores in Tampa Bay have, or will, close as the company struggles against 26-straight quarters of declining sales.

The breakdown of targeted stores came after Sears announced a nearly half-billion dollar loss in the quarter, sending its already depleted stock tumbling. Shares closed down another 40 cents apiece, or nearly 13 percent, on Thursday.

Five years ago, there were 2,000 Kmart and Sears stores across the country. After the just-announced closings, that number will shrink to roughly 820.

Sears' leadership said in a statement the stores closing were not profitable.

"In a challenging quarter, we continued to focus on our strategic transformation, identifying additional opportunities to streamline operations and adjust inventory and operating expenses while staying focused on our best members, best categories and best stores," CEO Edward S. Lampert told shareholders on Thursday.

MORE: Go here for more Business News

In total, the company says it found 100 of its stores to be unprofitable. Leadership said earlier on Thursday 72 stores would close, but decided to continue to evaluate nine of those on the list.

The latest numbers mean another 15 Kmart stores and 48 Sears will shut down — that's after Sears Holdings closed about 100 at the start of 2018 and roughly 250 the year before.

St. Petersburg's Kmart on 66th Street N. will be the last one remaining in Tampa Bay. The next closest is in Bradenton. Space that was once a Sears at Tyrone Square Mall has already been made into a Dick's Sporting Goods and soon-to-open Lucky's Super Market.

Sears Holdings announced in April and May the Sears at the Clearwater Westfield Countryside Mall and the Kmart stores on U.S. 19 and in Brandon would shut down.

There are remaining Sears locations at the WestShore Plaza and University Square Mall in Tampa — but none in Pinellas County.

Sears stores at the Westfield mall in Brandon, the Gulf View Square in New Port Richey and the Coastal Way in Brooksville also will remain open, according to the latest statements from the company.

In its first quarter ending on May 5, Sears Holdings reported losing $424 million. That was after it had sold off the Sears Craftsman brand and as it looks for a buyer for its Kenmore appliance brand.

Revenue fell more than 30 percent to $2.89 billion, with store closings contributing to almost two thirds of the decline. Sales at stores that had been open for at least a year dropped 11.9 percent.

Sears was founded in 1892 as mail order catalog company — a revolution for retail at the time. It began opening retail storefronts in the 1920s.

The company that survived two world wars is now struggling to compete with big-box stores like Target and Walmart and online retailers such as Amazon. Its leadership says its working to position itself as a competitor again.

"Our transformation strategy is designed to make Sears Holdings a new kind of retailer – one that is innovative, truly integrated and optimally positioned to meet the needs and preferences of today's shoppers," Rob Riecker, the company's chief financial officer, said to shareholders Thursday.

Lampert, who put Sears and Kmart under one company after helping pull Kmart out of bankruptcy, has long said he'd save the famed department store.

The company says liquidation sales for this round will begin as early as June 14.

This story has been updated to clarify the closing months of Sears and its auto center.

Times wires were used in this report. Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

MORE ON SEARS

Sears in Clearwater's Countryside Mall to close in mid-July

University Mall buys out Sears, unveils new name for its makeover

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. More than 44 percent of people who searched on ApartmentList.com for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  2. To accommodate the swelling numbers of aging baby boomers, experts say we will need to make transportation more readily available, build more affordable housing, modify homes and apartments to help seniors age in place, and create programs to bring young and old people together. [Times (2011)]
    “There’s never been a time like this,” one expert says. Solutions include more health aides, taming long-term care costs and just healthier living.
  3. In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo Oscar the cat sits in his carry on travel bag after arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Airlines might soon be able to turn away cats, rabbits and all animals other than dogs that passengers try to bring with them in the cabin. The U.S. Transportation Department on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, announced plans to tighten rules around service animals. The biggest change would be that only dogs could qualify. (Ross D. Franklin | Associated Press] [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
    Soon mainly dogs would be allowed on planes, under plans announced on Wednesday.
  4. The sale of Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans to Centene Corp. is expected to close Thursday, the companies said on Wednesday. [File photo]
    The companies said Wednesday they have satisfied all regulatory approvals, including with the U.S. Department of Justice, for the merger to close.
  5. Power Design has a 22-acre campus in the Gateway area of St. Petersburg. [Rendering courtesy of Power Design]
    In settling the case with the District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office, the electricial contractor company denies that it violated worker classification laws.
  6. Rooker Properties of Atlanta plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of industrial and office space at what is now county-owned  land on Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Pictured is Rooker's Spartan Ridge Logistics Center, a 273,000-square-foot, Class-A industrial building in Spartanburg, S.C. It was constructed in 2018 and the company said the buildings planned for the Pasco County site will closely resemble this. [Rooker Properties]
    Rick Narkiewicz is seeking tenants for the planned Rooker Properties spec buildings known as North Tampa 75 Business Center.
  7. This home in Colonial Hills neighborhood in west Pasco has been vacant for 10 years, neighbors said. A new Pasco County ordinance would require the owners of vacant and rental residences to register their properties with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. [C.T. BOWEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A new ordinance is supposed to aid sheriff’s deputies and code-enforcement officers dealing with rental or vacant properties.
  8. Four Tampa Bay businesses made Fortune’s list of “Most Admired Companies” in the world for 2020. Pictured is a Publix location in the Channelside district last year. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times (2019)] ["OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Four Tampa Bay businesses made Fortune’s list of “Most Admired Companies” in the world for 2020.
  9. After a spike last week, gas prices in the Sunshine State are down slightly. Pictured is the Courtney Campbell Causeway in 20098. [Times file] [CLIFFORD, DOUGLAS R.  |  St. Petersburg Times]
    Low demand and higher gas supply are bringing cheaper gas this week, experts said.
  10. Next month the Pirate Water Taxi will debut a 100-passenger vessel and two smaller taxis as part of an expansion of the company's routes and coverage of Tampa's waterfront. (Yacht StarShip) [Yacht StarShip]
    The service, owned by the operator of Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises, is investing $1.6 million in three new vessels and adding a long-desired stop near the Florida Aquarium.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement