Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sears Finally Announces Illinois Store Closings

There were no Illinois Sears stores among a list of 81 slated to be closed two weeks after Illinois legislators OK'ed an estimated $325 million package to keep the company headquarters in Hoffman Estates.  However, late last week, 5 Illinois stores, including the one in McHenry, were among another round of 15 Sears Holdings stores announced to go dark soon.

The latest shutdowns and the sale of 11 other Sears store locations, including one in Illinois, came the same day Sears Holdings announced a dismal final quarter for 2011. The company had a net loss of $2.4 billion for the quarter ending Jan. 28 compared to a profit of $374 million for the same period a year previous.

Sears also announced it would spin off its Hometown and Outlet businesses and some hardware stores to raise $400 million to $500 million.

The Sears headquarters stay-put package passed in December included a continuation of a $125 million  rebate plan that District 300 estimated would divert around $8 million per year in property taxes back to Sears.  It also included a state credit on income taxes on Sears employees.

In a letter to stockholders, Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert said the company "has a profit problem, not a liquidity nor an asset problem." That apparently was good news to investors since  the company's stock took a big jump up at the end of the week.

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