Just a week after long-time rival and Chicago area neighbor Montgomery Ward shut its doors for good, Sears Roebuck announced that it will be shutting a few doors of its own. While not suffering as catastrophic a holiday season as Ward's, and others, Sears nonetheless felt shopper's ambivalence and is now "marking down" 89 under-performing stores. December comp sales (at domestic stores) lagged 1.1 percent from the previous year.
The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer plans on closing 53 NTB auto parts stores, 30 hardware stores and four full-line stores (two of which contain Sears Auto Centers) during the first quarter. Sears is the second largest retailer in the U.S (second to Wal-Mart) and operates more than 800 full-line stores and more than 2000 specialty retail outlets.