Sears closing another 20 stores

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Sears closing another 20 stores

It will remain open as Sears Canada Group closes down 59 of its 225 stores across the country. The company did not give details as to which stores are closing.

The company plans to continue operating throughout the restructuring and said it intends to emerge as a leaner, more focused operation better able to compete in the hyper-competitive retail industry.

The closure of unprofitable stores is part of the retailer's ongoing strategy of "strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity", the spokesperson said, "and [we] have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced". In the company's first-quarter financial results, released June 13, the retailer reported a year-over-year revenue loss of 15.2 percent for the quarter, but also a 2.9 percent increase in same-store sales compared to first-quarter sales in 2016.

Under the plan, Sears Canada has been authorized by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to obtain up to $450 million Canadian (US$340 million) in financing to maintain operations throughout the restructuring.

Sears' agreement with Seritage lets it end its leases at unprofitable stores in exchange for payment of one year's rent. But sales continued to decline. The Sears Auto Center will close in late July. Sears is one of them. The specific timing for the store closures has not been determined.

The iconic American department-store chain has buckled under pressure from online competitors, having failed to reinvent its brick-and-mortar experience.

The company said it hopes to exit court protection as soon as possible.

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