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poor customer service
national retail federation
wal mart
holiday season
Sears, Kmart To Close Nearly 120 Stores Despite Upbeat Holiday Sales For Others
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Sears, Kmart to Close Nearly 120 Stores Despite Upbeat Holiday Sales for Others

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales might have been stronger than originally forecast this year, with one exception. The Sears Holding Corporation has announced that between one hundred and one hundred twenty of their faltering Sears and K-Mart stores will have to be closed to save the company overall. There has been no decision on which of the stores will be closed and what areas of the nation will be most highly impacted by this plan. Company stocks are already down by nearly forty percent for this year and dropped by a nearly thirty percent margin in the days following the big Christmas push. Stocks closed out at just over $33 and are expected to drop after the news of the closures.

Sears Holding had originally planned to try to keep at least some of the slower performing stores to give them a chance to turn their performance around, but have since changed direction with that plan. Sears alone has over 4000 full line as well as several specialty retail stores in North America. K-Mart has several levels of stores, including full line Super K stores and the smaller, discounted versions.

In a barely recovering economy, retail sales were much brisker than previously thought for the traditional holiday season, up by a full percentage point over what had originally been forecast by economic experts. But, K-Mart's discount stores had a nearly five percent decline in overall sales and sales at Sears fell by six percent. Wal Mart, who relaunched limited layaway this season may have impacted both stores in certain areas but pointed out that that is not the only problem that Sears Holding is facing. Sears refusal to invest any money into its local stores as well as historically poor customer service are also causing sales to drop off, especially in the areas where the stores are older and not as well kept as they could be.

Apparel sales at Sears were flat or declining this year. Sears, previously the largest appliance seller in the United States has also seen major competition from Home Depot stores, Lowes and others. Sales for consumer electronics and other departments at both Sears and K-Mart have been stagnant or falling for a number of months leading into this holiday season. K-Mart had smaller layaway sales this year than it has had in recent years. K-Mart's layaway is typically a popular feature, especially in previous years when Wal Mart had discontinued their own layaway program.


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