American retailer Sears Holdings is set to shut down 28 Kmart stores later this year as part of its business transformation programme.
The proposed closures come after Sears disclosed its plan to axe 400 jobs in June, while its Sears Canada subsidiary decided to close 49 stores under a court-monitored restructuring initiative.
For the second quarter ended 29 June this year, the company recorded sales revenues of $4.4bn, declining from $5.7bn earned during the same period last year.
According to the company, the decreased revenue is due to several factors such as reducing footfalls in stores, challenging retail market conditions, price competition and the closure of certain stores.
Sears Holdings chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said: "We are making progress on the strategic priorities we outlined earlier this year and remain focused on returning our company to profitability.
“The comprehensive restructuring of our operations is delivering cost efficiencies and helping drive improvements to our operating performance."
The company has an overall long-term debt of $3.5bn and intends to achieve $1.25bn in annualised savings during the current fiscal year.
Of the $1.25bn, the company realised savings totalling $1bn as of June.
The company has so far closed 180 stores this year.
The company also intends to complete an additional 150 previously announced closures by the end of the third quarter of this year.
Image: The exterior of a Sears Essentials store. Photo: courtesy of Caldorwards4 via Wikimedia Commons.