Santa Barbara’s Sears Store Spared
Parent Company to Shutter 100 Locations
Sears Holdings announced the closure of 100 stores on Thursday in its 2018 first-quarter report. Two are in California: the Kmart in Ridgecrest and the Sears in the City of Industry’s Puente Hills Mall. The company had closed 103 stores in January. Santa Barbara’s half-a-century-old outlet remains viable and is counted among the company’s “Best Stores.”
“It’s all about putting our best foot forward and trying to have the best member experience,” said Santa Barbara store manager Todd Wilson. “The fourth quarter was one of the best the company’s had.”
Though Sears’s first-quarter revenue was down $1.3 billion compared to 2017 — two-thirds of which was attributed to prior store closures — the report listed a number of optimistic forecasts. Chief among them is the coming year’s collaboration with Amazon.com on tires. In the “ship-to-store” program, tire-buyers on Amazon can have them sent to a Sears Auto Center for installation. A similar program has proved successful for Kenmore and DieHard products. Other positive outlooks were the continuation of a credit card program with Citi Retail Services, which had generated $400 million in net cash flow, as well as truck and other leasing programs.
The report summary states the first quarter saw an adjusted earnings loss of $225 million and revenues of $2.9 billion (Q1 2017 was $4.2 billion). According to Bloomberg, Sears CEO Edward Lampert has been struggling to keep the company afloat by selling assets like Lands’ End and Craftsman, as well as putting his own money into the company. The directors are now exploring the sale of the Kenmore brand.