Sears closings don’t include area stores

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sears corporate officials announced Tuesday plans to close 100-120 Sears and Kmart stores because of poor holiday sales, but local franchise owner Alan Jones said his store won’t be affected.

“I’ve had two or three people ask me about it already,” said Jones, whose store is located on the West Bypass in Andalusia and in the Brewton Heights Shopping Center in Brewton. “I’ve spoken with the corporate people who told me it’s going to affect the stores like you see in the mall. Ours is not closing, and I don’t know of another hometown store that’s closing.”

The corporate closings are expected to boost bottom line figures for the retailer, which is home to brands including Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, who also expects to earn $140-$170 million by selling off inventory in affected stores and selling or subleasing store space.

The company also expects store closure and inventory reduction to lower peak inventory in 2012 by $500-$580 million.

Locally, Jones said Christmas traffic was better than years past, but overall sales were slightly less.