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Sears And Kmart: Another One Bites The Dust

Sears And Kmart: Another One Bites The Dust

Sears & Kmart Are Closing A ton of locations

Look out for some "Going Out Of Business" sales at Sears and Kmart starting soon. With the influx of customers that order virtually everything online from retailers like Amazon, it’s been hard for smaller franchises to compete.

Toys R Us has officially closed their final stores and now Sears and Kmart have announced that they are each closing a large amount of their stores - 46 in total, by the end of November.  

Photo courtesy of ClayCord

Photo courtesy of ClayCord

The department stores are both under the umbrella of Sears Holdings, which said that it will “continue to evaluate our network of stores and make further adjustments as needed.” This, of courses, raises some questions as to whether or not this is the beginning of the end for Sears and Kmart. 

 

The Rise

Sears began in the 19th century, roughly 130 years ago, as a mail-order firm. A mail-order firm was a place in which customers could purchase products and services by mail delivery. Companies published catalogues and then an order would be placed and the customer would receive the item to their door. Eventually, Sears became a retail store and began to thrive as the place where customers could get virtually anything they needed in one place - oftentimes at their local mall. By the early 1900s, Sears had become a household name and began to dominate the retail world. Smithsonian.com went as far as to say that “Sears taught Americans how to shop.”

Photo courtesy of Family Pleasant Shopping

Photo courtesy of Family Pleasant Shopping

Kmart, similar to Sears, began over 100 years ago. However, Kmarts beginnings were as a five-and-dime store in Detroit. When the store first opened, every product cost either 5 or 10 cents which was a huge appeal to customers. By 1912, there were 85 Kmart stores across the country and their annual sales were more than $10 million. In the 1990s, Kmart revealed a new logo and a new business plan - building new stores across the country over the next five years (a plan that would cost roughly $3.5 billion). In 1991, they opened the first Kmart Supercenter in Ohio which was a 24-hour grocery and general merchandise store. Sears and Kmart joined forces and became the Sears Holdings Corporation on November 17, 2004. 

 

The Fall

The downfall began in 1991 when Walmart became the #1 retailer in America and since then it has been struggling to remain on top. Now, in November Sears will close 33 locations after already closing hundreds of locations in the past decade. Kmart will also close 13 locations.

Looking for any way to save the company, the Sears Holding’s CEO, Eddie Lampert, has placed an offer for $400 million to acquire Kenmore Household Appliances and has described the deal as “critical” for the Sears brand. 

Let us know what you think about Sears and Kmart closing in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to The Sitch for more news and other entertaining reads. 

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