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December 29, 2011

With closings planned, Logan’s Sears future uncertain

More than 100 stores will be shuttered, but sites have not been disclosed

LOGANSPORT — One day after corporate officials announced 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide would soon close, it remained unclear Wednesday whether locations in or near Logansport would be affected.

Company officials have not released a list of stores that will be closed.

Officials at Logansport’s Sears store Wednesday referred all questions to the media relations department for Sears Holdings Corporation, the parent company of Sears and Kmart.

A voice recording on the media relation’s phone line states that representatives will not answer specific questions about the closings. An email to that department also was not returned Wednesday.

A note on the Sears Holding website states that a closing list will be posted there, but it provides no information on when it might be available.

“Please check back for updates,” it reads.

Sears Holding announced the closure plans Tuesday in a press release outlining its “planned actions to improve and accelerate the transformation of its business.” The same release showed that

2011 sales in Kmarts nationwide were down nearly 2 percent and in Sears were down more than 3 percent compared to 2010.

“Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said in the release. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail — at the store, online and in the home.”

One of those actions is the store closures.

“We expect these store closures to generate $140 to $170 million of cash as the net inventory in these stores is sold, and we expect to generate additional cash proceeds from the sale or sublease of the related real estate,” the release states.

It does not provide estimated work force figures for the stores to be closed.

• Dustin Kass is associate editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5150 or dustin.kass@pharostribune.com.

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