Sears Holding Corp., the parent company of Sears and Kmart stores, announced Tuesday it would close between 100 and 120 underperforming stores after lackluster holiday sales. Sears Holding Corp. has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
ALBANY — Citing lackluster numbers over the recently completed holiday shopping season, Sears Holdings Corp. on Tuesday announced it would shutter between 100 and 120 of its under-performing Sears and Kmart stores.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the company has yet to determine which stores will close and has not revealed how many jobs would be lost because of the closures.
Albany Mall Sears manager George Galligan was out of town and unavailable. A phone call requesting comment from the Dawson Road Kmart went unreturned.
Shoppers leaving both Albany stores, however, had plenty to say about possible closures.
“I had seen this coming because I have been paying attention to their (Sears Holdings Corp.) stock reports,” Roger Morey of Lee County said as he walked out of Sears. “Many people have predicted in the future that Sears would no longer be here. I would prefer that the store here not close. The scary part if this store closes, it will hurt the mall itself.”
Phillip Alley had other concerns.
“If Sears and Kmart close, that would be a lot of jobs lost,” Alley said. “I don’t know if the taxpayers of Dougherty County can afford to take a hit like that. ... This is not good news.”
Sabrina Krull of Atlanta would not be overly concerned by store closures in Fulton County.
“If it was the store closest to me, now that would bother me some,” Krull said. “But my major concern would be the number of jobs that would be lost.”
A woman from Tifton said a possible closure would make buying appliances more difficult for her family.
“I would be concerned about a closure, but I haven’t been in a Sears store in a while,” she said. “When I go, I usually buy appliances. Now that would limit my choices.”
Carl Stokes of Pelham echoed those sentiments.
“I wouldn’t be too happy if the Sears closed,” Stokes said. “I would hate it for the employees and Sears is where we buy our appliances. It seems like whenever we needed something, they (Sears) have what we need.”
Across Stuart Road at Kmart, Kevin Bradshaw of Doerun was shocked at the possibility of a closure.
“It would hurt those of use who live around Albany because the Tifton Kmart just doesn’t have much stuff. This store has a much better selection,” Bradshaw said. “This store also employs a lot of people and we don’t need to lose more jobs and have even more people out of work.”
Miranda McNeal of Dawson said the possibly closure of the Dawson Road Kmart would be “devastating.”
“Think about all the jobs that would be lost in this small town if Sears and Kmart closed. It would be devastating,” she said. “Plus, Sears is one of the anchor stores at the mall. When I need something they are there.”
Franklin Smith of Albany said if the stores did close he would miss their convenience.
“I feel the (possible) closings would hurt Albany big time,” he said. “The stores are in convenient locations and there is stuff I can find cheaper at this Kmart than I can at Walmart.
“They haven’t closed anything yet, but if they do, I hope it’s just one of them and not both.”
The company has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company has predicted that fourth-quarter adjusted earnings will be less than half of the $933 million it reported for the same quarter last year.