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Retail Real Estate News & Trends in Southern California

By Shopping Centers TodayWeekly Digest January 6, 2012

Sears Holdings says it will close about 100 Sears and Kmart stores in the wake of disappointing holiday sales. This follows a 5.2 percent average decline in same-store sales for the eight weeks preceding Christmas Day for both retailers. Sales at U.S. Sears stores sank 6 percent, while Kmart’s were down 4.4 percent. “Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce ongoing expenses,” said CEO Lou D’Ambrosio, in a prepared statement. The company operates some 4,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Part of the problem lies with the ability of online retailers to evade collecting sales taxes, which gives them an advantage over conventional stores, says analyst Burt Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group. “There’s been a significant shift online because of the sales tax savings, he told CNN. “Consumers see it as instant discount, and most online retailers are delivering for free. That puts Sears and other land-based retailers at a significant disadvantage for the foreseeable future.” ICSC is pressing Congress to pass legislation to require online retailers to collect these taxes. Click here for a complete list of the stores marked for closure.