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By Courtney Jespersen/Nerd Wallet
April 25, 2016
Blue, Victor J.—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Sears Holdings announced Thursday that it would be closing 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores over the next few months, a move the company said would “accelerate its transformation and its return to profitability.”

The wave of discount store closures is happening after the company said in February that it would be closing unprofitable stores to compensate for its lackluster financial position.

Although this Sears announcement may have been anticipated, it leaves consumers wondering what to make of store downsizing and how it will affect them.

What it means for you

So what do these Sears Holdings store closings mean for you as a shopper? Here are some steps you should take if you’re a Sears or Kmart customer.

  • Find out if your store is affected. For a complete list of the Sears, Kmart and Super K store locations that are slated to close, read the news release from Sears Holdings. With the exception of two that are shutting down in mid-September, the rest of the stores will be closing their doors in late July.
  • If yours is on the list, shop liquidation sales. Brick-and-mortar locations that are shutting down will be hosting final liquidation sales to clear out inventory and raise capital. If your nearby store is one of those on the list, take advantage of closeout sales and deals while you can. Kmart locations will begin their liquidation sales May 12, while Sears locations will start theirs April 29.
  • If yours isn’t, don’t fret. If your local store isn’t one of those that’s closing, you’ll be unlikely to feel any effects from this announcement.
  • Regardless, you can still shop. Some Sears and Kmart stores may be closing, but the company isn’t going out of business. That means you can still shop online and redeem any unused gift cards.

Shoppers not only ones affected

Another large group impacted by these closures is the employees. According to Sears Holdings, eligible employees will receive severance and will be able to apply for open positions at other local Kmart or Sears stores.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” Edward S. Lampert, chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings, said in announcing the move. “We’re focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation.”