Morning Coffee Mar 16 2012

Sears to Boost Layoffs with 62 Additional Store Closings

By damian ghigliotty

The struggles of Sears Holdings, which last year said it would shut up to 120 stores this year, apparently have deepened.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based chain said it plans to close an additional 62 stores in the first half of 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported, bringing the total number of store closings this year to 173.

The closings include 43 of the retailer's Hometown stores, 10 of its hardware stores and all nine of its Great Indoor stores. Sears currently operates more than 4,000 stores, according to Kimberly Freely, a company spokeswoman.

Sears has previously said that each store employs between 40 to 80 people; that means the store closings this year could result in as many as 13,840 job eliminations.

Sears plans to spin off its outlet business as well as its Hometown and hardware stores through a rights offering. The company has announced several rounds of layoffs over the past few months.

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