Sears closing several Valley stores as company files for bankruptcy

A number of “underperforming” Sears and Kmart stores in the Valley, including Merced, Visalia, Bakersfield and Modesto, are expected to close near the end of the year as part of Sears Holding’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court records.

The Merced Sears at 1011 W. Olive Ave. will hold a store closing liquidation sale along with these Sears and Kmart stores:

  • Visalia Kmart, 3247 W. Noble Ave.
  • Delano Kmart, 912 County Line Road
  • Lemoore Kmart, 215 W. Hanford/Armona Road
  • Modesto Sears, 100 Vintage Faire Mall
  • Modesto Kmart, 1351 E. Hatch Road
  • Bakersfield Sears, 3001 Ming Ave.

The location in Fresno was not on the list of expected closures.

Employees and a store manager at the Merced Sears declined to comment Monday, saying they are waiting for more information and direction.

The stores are on a list of 142 locations slated to close to “maximize value to all stakeholders,” “immediately lower the Debtors’ costs and increase cash flow from operations,” and “to position themselves for a restructuring transaction or sale to maximize value and preserve as many jobs as possible,” according to documents filed Monday in United States Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York.

The selected stores were underperforming, sustaining significant losses or have no leasehold value, the documents state.

Of the 142 stores, 98 were unprofitable in the 2017 fiscal year while 44 presented flat or marginal profits or were trending down in 2018, according to the documents, which didn’t specify which stores were unprofitable.

Liquidating the stores is expected to bring about $42 million for Chapter 11 proceedings.

The store closing sales will include all inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment.