Major retailers close stores after low holiday sales

By: Micah Price ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of | Fighting competition from online companies, major U.S. retailers like Macy’s and Sears have closed stores after holiday sales failed to meet quotas.

Several U.S. retail giants have recently announced the closure of a number of locations nationwide, citing poor sales.

Sears, Roebuck & Company revealed Jan. 5 that 109 of its K-Mart stores and 41 of its Sears Outlets would be closing, with most locations planning to cease operations by the end of March. This news comes after the company announced the sale of its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley, Black & Decker.

Sears closed 200 stores in 2015 and 78 in 2016.

The company did not comment on how many employees would be affected, but stressed the company’s commitment to “treating these associates with respect and compassion during this process.”

The news from Sears came just a day after Macy’s announced that it would close 78 of its department stores, which will result in the layoff of about 10,000 employees.

Macy’s, which says it will reinvest savings from these closures in online business and overseas markets, will have 660 stores remaining in the United States at the end of the process.

Kohl’s also recently announced lower than expected holiday sales, which caused the company’s value to decline quickly, with a seven percent drop in the value of the stock in just one day.

Primarily location based retailers have faced stiff and increasing competition from online retailers in recent years, and these trends are expected to continue.

Meanwhile, reports from Yahoo Finance shows a 250 point jump in stock of the online retail giant Amazon. This continues Amazon’s strong sales performance in recent years, as they continue to acquire greater share of the U.S. retail market, as well as the shipping market.

The now-global retailer employs just fewer than 270,000 workers worldwide, growing astronomically from less than 25,000 employees in early 2008. The company is estimated to be worth nearly $250 billion.

Amazon also continues to see a rise in paid memberships for its Amazon Prime program, which offers free two-day shipping on many items available online, as well as other benefits.

Industry experts predict that location-based retail will continue to struggle in the coming years as they face the increasing popularity of online shopping.