Judge rules in favor of Sears, Kmart stores to ESL Investments, Feb. 7, 2019

After four days of hearings this week, Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York approved the sale of 425 Kmart and Sears stores to Eddie Lampert and ESL Investments. The Big Bear Lake Kmart store is among the 425 on the list. The Kmart shopping center property is owned by Seritage, another company in which Lampert holds significant stock. Sears Holdings hopes to finalize the sale Friday, Feb. 8.

Sears Holdings announced Aug. 6 that it will close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October. Plans are to “accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats, which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several hundred Sears Hometown stores,” according to a TransformCo press release.

The Big Bear Kmart store is not affected by this latest round of closures and is expected to remain open. The nearest stores to Big Bear that are on the list include Kmart stores in Redlands and Desert Hot Springs.

Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance, which owns Walgreens retail outlets, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 6 that it plans to close 200 under-performing stores in the United States in addition to 200 stores in the United Kingdom.

The filing report stated “following a review of the real estate footprint in the United States, which review was also announced on the Company’s earnings call for the fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2019, the Company also plans to close approximately 200 locations in the United States.”

It's unknown if the Big Bear Walgreens will be affected. The company declined to provide a list of stores that will be closed.

The affected stores were not named in the filing. “As previously announced, we are undertaking a transformational cost management program to accelerate the ongoing transformation of our business, enable investments in key areas and to become a more efficient enterprise,” wrote Phil Caruso, Walgreens media relations spokesman. “As part of this effort, we plan to close approximately 200 stores in the U.S. Given that these closures will represent less than 3 percent of our stores overall, and given that we have multiple locations in many markets, we anticipate minimal disruption to customers and patients. We also anticipate being able to retain the majority of the impacted store team members in other nearby locations.”

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