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Transform to close 26 Sears, Kmart stores in October

Transform Holdco LLC, the new owner of Sears Holdings Corp., said it will close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart Corp. stores in late October.

The affected stores are located in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

The company said it will instead accelerate the expansion of its smaller store formats following a careful review. Transform plans to open more Home & Life stores, as well as hundreds of additional Sears Hometown stores after the Sears Hometown and Outlet transaction closes.

In addition, the company will also close the Sears Auto Centers in some of the affected stores later this month. Liquidation sales at the stores are slated to begin around Aug. 15, the company said.

Transform has pledged to offer all eligible associates the same number of weeks of severance as offered to employees of Sears Holdings prior to its bankruptcy filing in October 2018.

The company said it will continue to evaluate its network of Sears and Kmart stores and that it will not rule out the possibility of more store closures in the near term as it strives to return to profitability and preserve as many jobs as possible.

Transform Holdco was established by Edward Lampert-owned ESL Investments Inc. as an entity to acquire Sears.