NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings officials are considering selling 200 to 300 buildings to boost liquidity.
The move would entail the company forming a real estate investment trust that would hold the stores. Sears would continue to operate in the stores by leasing them back. Sears officials said it would get “substantial proceeds” from the sale, and that shareholders would be given the option to buy shares of the trust.
Sears Holdings Corp., which runs Sears and Kmart stores, has been slashing costs and trying to raise cash to return to profitability. The company, which was once a staple of American shopping, is facing pressure from nimbler rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores and Home Depot. Sears also is dealing with broader industry problems, including a slow economic recovery that is not benefiting all Americans equally and shoppers who are taking their money elsewhere.
In October, the company announced it would be closing more stores before Christmas. The Sears store and automotive center at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale is slated to close in December.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Sears officials expect third-quarter sales to dip 0.1 percent at established locations. An expected 0.7 percent decline at Sears offset a 0.5 percent increase at Kmart.
In August, the company reported its ninth straight quarterly loss as sales continued to slide. The company, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is controlled by billionaire hedge fund investor Edward Lampert.
Lampert combined Sears and Kmart in 2005, about two years after he brought Kmart out of bankruptcy protection.