Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr
Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr

A Riverside store is among several dozen Kmart and Sears outlets throughout the country due to be shuttered in the first months of 2017, officials have confirmed.

No other such stores are slated to get the ax in Southern California — for now.

“We are making the difficult but necessary decision to close the Kmart store at 3001 Iowa Ave in Riverside,” Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman Howard Riefs told City News Service. “The store will close to the public in late March. Until then, the store will remain open for customers (and) will begin its liquidation sale on January 6.”

Riefs declined to disclose the number of employees who will be unemployed as a result of the closure.

Two Kmart stores will remain in operation in the city after the Iowa Avenue closure.

Riefs told CNS that Sears Holdings executives have been “strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores.”

Business Insider and other publications obtained a list showing 32 Kmart and Sears stores are slated to be closed under a reorganization plan initiated by Sears Holdings following more than a year of net losses and cratering stock prices.

The Iowa Avenue Kmart, a couple of miles from the UC Riverside campus, is the only California outlet on the list. Other stores are located in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Washington and West Virginia.

Sears Holdings Corp. reported a $748 million loss in its third-quarter report. Share prices have been cut in half over the last year.

A rash of store closings were announced over the summer as the company struggled to regain shareholder confidence amid anemic sales. Earlier this month, Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert, the venture capitalist who oversaw the Kmart-Sears merger in 2005, said he believed the current reorganization will be key to “improving gross margin performance.”

After the latest round of closures is completed, fewer than 1,500 brick- and-mortar Sears and Kmart outlets will remain — down from 3,500 in 2010, according to published reports.

–City News Service

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