With the announcement last week that the company that owns Sears and Kmart plans to close more than 100 stores, the two businesses in Toms River are not on the current list of stores announced to close.
Sears Holding says more stores will be added to the list, but had no defined timetable to do so, according to a company statement this week.
The closing list is currently 80 stores long, with Sears Holding announcing as many as 120 Kmart and Sears stores could close.
In Toms River, is the anchor store to the plaza bearing its name on Route 37 East, after the Hooper Avenue intersection. The second property is in the Ocean County Mall, where fronts the Oak Avenue side of the mall, where it is one of the original department stores in the mall since it opened in 1976.
Of the current list of stores slated to close, none are in New Jersey. No timetable has been set for the full list, but the final list is scheduled to be released on this website.
A press release issued by the company said during the fourth quarter and during 2011 both brands lost money. That loss is being attributed to "decreases in the consumer electronics and apparel categories," according to the release. Another contributing factor was a drop in sales of "consumer electronics and home appliance categories." The sales of items like apparel were also flat which did not help the company's situation.
In light of the losses, Chief Executive Officer Lou D'Ambrosio said changes will need to be made. "Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model."
By closing the stores, the company estimates it will "generate $140 to $170 million of cash," by selling the inventories of the stores. D'Ambrosio said the changes should benefit the customers and the company. "These actions will enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail - at the store, online and in the home," he said.
If either or both of these stores are on the final list, what impact do you think it will have on you? Or the town?