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Updated 12/29/11 – 3:13 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Sears has released a list of the first 79 stores to close under a plan to shutter 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart locations due to poor holiday sales.
No Illinois Sears or Kmart stores are among the stores listed on the Hoffman Estates-based company’s website, but three locations are in Indiana, including a Kmart in St. John in northwest Indiana.
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In an internal memo Tuesday to employees, CEO and President Lou D’Ambrosio said that the retailer had not “generated the results we were seeking during the holiday.”
Sears discussed the closings with Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday.
“Governor Quinn had a good long conversation with the Sears CEO yesterday and we are definitely pleased with today’s outcome,” said Quinn’s spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson.
Anderson said she doesn’t know when the stores on Thursday’s list will close, nor if any of the remaining slated closures will be in Illinois.
News of the store closings comes just less than two weeks after Illinois lawmakers and the governor signed off on extending tax breaks designed to keep Sears’ corporate headquarters in Illinois.
Until earlier this month, the corporate tax rate in Illinois had been a major complaint for Sears. The company had been considering leaving Illinois, until Gov. Pat Quinn approved a multimillion dollar tax break for Sears and the CME Group, which was also considering departing the state.
The governor has said the closures don’t affect the state’s $15 million-a-year in tax incentives to keep Sears headquarters in Hoffman Estates.
“The fact that they have to close some stores around the country, that isn’t good news, but it doesn’t directly affect this agreement,” Quinn said.
The company said it will post on this Web site when a final list is compiled. Sears would not discuss how many, if any, jobs would be cut.
Sears has more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.