Sears to Close Three Indiana Stores

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(photo courtesy Sears Holding Corp.) (photo courtesy Sears Holding Corp.)

Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) says three Indiana Sears locations are among the 63 underperforming stores that are set to close later this year.  The company says the nationwide closures are part of ongoing efforts to streamline its operations and focus on the best-performing stores.

The Indiana locations affected by the move include the stores at Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis and Muncie Mall. The company says liquidation sales could begin as early as mid-June before the stores close in early September. The Sears Auto Centers at each location will close in late July.

The company did not specify the number of employees affected by the closures but says they will receive severance pay and have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other area stores. In all, 48 Sears stores and 15 Kmart stores are set to close. Sears Holdings initially said it would close 72 stores, but some were taken off the list for further evaluation.

Meantime, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) says it expects to continue to reclaim the affected Sears locations in its portfolio and redevelopment. Chief Operating Officer Michael McCarty says various redevelopment options are being considered, such as retail, restaurant and entertainment concepts, as well as mixed-use elements such as hotel, residential, office and fitness.

"As Sears continues to liquidate its stores, it's a terrific opportunity for us to recapture this real estate and redevelop it in a brand-positive way," McCarty, said. "Our team is fully engaged in capitalizing on this opportunity and continues to pursue plans to replace Sears stores with new and compelling ways for consumers to live, work, play, stay and shop at these Simon destinations nationwide." 

Simon owns Castleton Square Mall and Tippecanoe Mall.

Sears Holdings said Thursday morning it lost $424 million in the first quarter and revenue fell more than 30 percent. The company says it is also exploring the possible sale of its Kenmore brand and related assets, as well as its Sears Home Improvement Products business and PartsDirect Business, which are part of the Sears Home Services division.

Earlier this year, Sears announced the closure of three Kmart and Sears stores in Indiana. Seven additional stores have been closed in Indiana over the past two years.

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