Florence Sears slated to close in mid-February

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Sears and Kmart are planning to close 150 stores, including the Sears store in Florence.

According to the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Sears announced Thursday that it would be closing 109 Kmart stores and 41 Sears outlets. The newsletter from the chamber also says Sears announced it  plans to sell its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker.

The newsletter lists the closure date for the Florence store located on David H. Mcleod Boulevard as mid February.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take actions to strengthen the Company’s operations and fund its transformation. Many of these stores have struggled with their financial performance for years and we have kept them open to maintain local jobs and in the hopes that they would turn around. But in order to meet our objective of returning to profitability, we have to make tough decisions and will continue to do so, which will give our better performing stores a chance at success. Eligible associates impacted by these store closures will receive severance and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores,” a press release from Sears said.

PREIT, the real estate investment trust that owns and manages properties including Magnolia Mall released their response to the closings Thursday evening.

“The Company has an executed lease with a fashion department store to replace Sears at Woodland Mall, providing a remarkable opportunity to enhance this premier property, and is finalizing lease documents with replacement tenants at Capital City and Magnolia Malls.  The transactions are part of PREIT’s plan to continue upgrading its properties following our aggressive portfolio disposition and repositioning program which has created a quality platform that is more compelling to retailers,” PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino said.

Senior Marketing Director Mackenzie Webb with PREIT says they cannot confirm any details about what will take the place of Sears at Magnolia Mall, but the company looks forward to sharing updates as as soon as they are able to.

According to CNN, Sears also closed 78 stores last year and more than 200 in 2015.