Sears to close doors of Chicago flagship outlet in April

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 21, 2014 11:33 PM EST

The Chicago flagship store of Sears Holdings Corp will shut its doors in April, Reuters reported. This is the retailer's most recent move as it seeks to reduce the number of stores in its bid to move to online retail, the report said.

On Tuesday, a Sears spokesman said the "millions of dollars" were lost to the store since it opened in 2001. While the retailer still has three other stores in Chicago, shuttering its flagship will mean that Sears will have no outlet in the city's downtown core, the report said. Sears holds headquarters in the suburban area of Hoffman Estates in Illinois.

Edward Lampert, the hedge fund manager who is also Chief Executive Officer of Sears and its top stakeholder, wrote in his blog that closing outlets were necessary as the buying habits of shoppers have changed. He said shoppers are making more online purchases.

Lampert said, "The consensus about decreased store traffic also highlights another decision that has steered our work: we very often need less space to serve our members better and we may need fewer locations as well." He added that while these changes are difficult, the company also believes that the alternative of failing to plan for or see the direction that the retail industry is taking would be "far, far worse."

The holiday season failed to improve the performance of the retailer as its namesake chain posted a 9.2% drop in comparable sales, the report said. The Kmart discount chain is also operated by Sears.

For the past four years, Sears Holdings has shuttered an estimated 300 stores in the US. There are around 2,000 Kmart and Sears stores in the country, Reuters reported.

Other retailers like JC Penney Co Inc and Macy's Inc have also announced store closures. Last week, JC Penney said it was stopping operations in 33 of its 1,100 stores. Macy's said it would be closing down five stores but it intends to do business in eight new locations, the report said.

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