NEW YORK -- Sears Holdings (SHLD) is closing its downtown Chicago flagship outlet in April, the latest move by the retailer to cut the number of its stores as it relies more on online retailing.
The store has lost "millions of dollars" since opening in 2001, a Sears spokesman said Tuesday. The closing will leave Sears' namesake chain without a store in the downtown core of its hometown. Sears is based in suburban Hoffman Estates, Ill. It has three other stores in Chicago.
In a blog post Tuesday, hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who is Sears' CEO and top shareholder, said store closings are necessary because shoppers' habits are changing as they buy more online.
"The consensus about decreased store traffic also highlights another decision that has steered our work:
"As difficult as these changes are, we believe the alternative of failing to plan for or even see where the retail industry is heading would be far, far worse."
Sears reported a 9.2 percent decline in comparable sales for the holiday season at its namesake chain, the latest poor showing by the retailer. The company also operates the Kmart discount chain.
Sears Holdings has closed about 300 U.S. stores since 2010. The company has about 2,000 Sears and Kmart locations in the United States.
Other retailers are also closing stores. J.C. Penney (JCP) announced last week that it was closing 33 of its 1,100 stores. Macy's (M) is closing five stores, although it plans to open eight new locations.
The news of the Chicago store closing was first reported by Crain's.