Sears to shut 64 more Kmart stores: source

September 19, 2016 5:17 PM EDT

A Sears logo is seen inside a department store in Garden City, New York, U.S., May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton


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(Reuters) - Retailer Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) will close a further 64 Kmart stores in the United States, a source familiar with the matter said, in addition to the nearly 70 it announced earlier this year.

Sears, which has posted a quarterly profit just once in the last four years, said in April it would close 68 Kmart discount stores and 10 Sears department stores to cut costs.

Once the largest U.S. retailer, Sears has lost its standing as customers move to online shopping or rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT).

Sears had a total long term debt of $3.4 billion and cash balance of $276 million as of July 30, 2016.

The company said later in May that it would explore options to expand its home-improvement service business and some of its best-known brands such as Kenmore appliances.

Ratings agency Moody's investor service cut its rating on Sears' liquidity last week, saying Kmart's meaningful market share erosion has made it uncertain about its viability.

Business Insider first reported the closures on Monday citing local news reports and Kmart employees.

The additional stores earmarked for closure will begin liquidation sales on Sept. 22 and close by mid-December, the financial news website reported.

Sears said it would provide an updated store count in their next quarterly filing.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)



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