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Sears closing stores in Kingsport and Bristol

Staff report • Jan 4, 2017 at 5:26 PM

KINGSPORT — Two local Sears department stores will be closing by spring.

Sears Holdings announced on Wednesday another round of store closures, impacting 78 Kmart and 26 Sears locations in more than 25 states.

The Sears stores at the Kingsport Town Center and in Bristol, Va., are among those that will be closed.

This marks the second round of store closures announced by the company in the last two weeks. On Dec. 27, the company informed associates at 30 Kmart and 16 Sears stores that their stores would be closing this spring.

Sears Holdings said that it will “continue to strategically and aggressively evaluate our store space and productivity and accelerate the closing of some unprofitable stores as the company has previously announced.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the company’s operations and fund its transformation. Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years, and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around,” a press release states. “But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better-performing stores a chance at success.

“Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Kmart or Sears locations.

“Customers can use the store locator function on our web sites to find the location of their nearest Kmart and Sears stores. Liquidation sales will begin as early as Jan. 6 at all closing stores.”

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