Sears to close Jonesboro store in companywide downsizing

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 29 views 

The Sears retail store in Jonesboro is among the 78 Kmart and 26 Sears locations the parent company for the iconic department store giant plans to shutter by the end of March.

That follows a round of 30 Kmart and 16 Sears store closings announced two days after Christmas.

“We are taking strong, decisive actions … to stabilize the company and improve our financial flexibility in what remains a challenging retail environment,” Sears Chairman and CO Ed Lampert said (Jan. 5). “We are committed to improving short-term operating performance in order to achieve our long-term transformation.”

At the same time, Sears said it also entered into an agreement to sell its Craftsman business to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. in a deal that could eventually top $1 billion. The deal calls Stanley to pay out $525 million at closing, $250 million in three years, together with use of a perpetual license for the Craftsman brand, royalty free for 15 years, and a 15-year royalty stream on all third-party Craftsman sales to new customers that could yield several hundred million dollars more over time.

“We are pleased to announce our agreement to restructure the ownership of our Craftsman brand, which will allow us to both realize value and participate in the expansion of its distribution and service offerings,” Lampert said.

According to the updated list of store closing as of Jan. 5, the Jonesboro department store on Caraway Road will close by end of the first quarter. However, the Sears’ website says location, which also includes an automotive center, is no longer in operation. “We’re sorry, the Sears Stores at 1901 S Caraway Rd Ste 1, Jonesboro, AR 72401 has closed.”

Thursday’s announcement by Sears is among a list of New Year’s announcement by mall-connected department store chains that has sent shockwaves across the retail sector as e-commerce and online retailers grow marketshare.

On Wednesday (Jan. 4), Macy’s Inc. announces the closure of 68 stores and the reorganization of the field structure that supports the remaining stores. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based upscale retailer said the most recent closures are part of the approximately 100 closings out of 730 stores announced in August 2016.

Macy’s said the ongoing downsizing will generate annual expense savings of nearly $550 million in 2017, enabling the company to invest an additional $250 million in growing the digital business and store-related growth strategies. Macy’s said it has already reached its cost cutting goal of more than $500 million savings one year earlier than expected. The department store giant said it will record a $250 million charge, or 50 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

More than 10,000 workers will be affected by the store closings at Macy’s, which has no locations in Arkansas. Sears officials have not provided details of how many workers in Jonesboro will be affected by the store closing. Sears has nearly 50 hometown locations, outlet stores and auto centers across the state.

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