Less than two weeks after Gov. Pat Quinn approved tax-break legislation to keep major businesses from leaving the state, Sears Holdings Corp. announced Tuesday it will close between 100 and 120 full-line Sears and Kmart stores.
Though the Hoffman Estates-based company has not finalized which stores will be shuttered, it confirmed to Crain's Chicago Business that the move is meant to “accelerate the transformation of its business.”
Investors reacted strongly against the move, forcing stock prices down 27.2 percent -- to $33.38 a share -- their lowest point in more than three years.
Sears Holdings said the closures are expected to generate $140 million to $170 million in sold inventory and additional proceeds from the lease or sale of the buildings.
Earlier this month Quinn signed hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks to keep the company in Illinois. Previously Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange threatened to leave the state without the measures lawmakers adopted on Dec. 12 and 13.
The bill renews a credit Sears has been getting for years and guarantees the company a $15 million break on its taxes over the next decade.
In a quarter-to-date update posted on its website, Sears said pre-Christmas sales were down more than 5 percent compared with last year.