PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. announced Thursday that it will close 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears stores as it struggles to restore profitability.

Several of those stores are in the Pittsburgh area.

The ailing company had said in February that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores.

The move is expected to generate a “meaningful level” of cash from the liquidation of store inventories and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate, it said.

“It’s how business goes, other stores are opening up. It’s all competition and who can draw in the business,” Dennis Killen said.

The closings follow a comprehensive review of the company’s store portfolio that took into account store performance and the timing of lease expirations.

In a press release, Sears Holdings Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said: “The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability.”

The list of local stores closing includes:

Kmarts:

  • 2660 Constitution Blvd., Beaver Falls, Pa.
  • 3000 McIntyre Square Dr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 1775 S. Braddock Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 99 Matthews Dr., Uniontown, Pa.

 

Sears:

  • 101 Clearview Cir., Butler, Pa.
  • 2500 W. State St., New Castle, Pa.

To view the full list of closures, visit this link.

The company says the closing Kmart and Sears stores will begin their liquidation sales on May 12 and April 29, respectively.

“It goes to show you how far the Internet has come with a lot of online shopping. I don’t really shop there, but I think the most unfortunate part is people are gonna be out of jobs,” Ramon Ellis said.

Officials say all of the Sears and most of the Kmarts will be closing in late July. However, two of the Kmart locations won’t close until mid-September. It’s unclear which two stores they are.

Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther said the closures show how fickle shoppers are.

“They end up being right next to their competitors and when you walk through the stores, everything looks the same,” Luther said. “You have to have different product or different service. You have to differentiate yourself in some way.”

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Meanwhile, employees impacted by the closures will get severance and the chance to apply for open positions at other area Kmart or Sears stores.

Sears has long been struggling with a sales slump, unable to keep up with rivals like Walmart.

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