Attention, Kmart Shoppers: Flat-Line Special

Rubble remains by the back door of what used to be a Kmart Photograph by Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

Kmart, the discounting pioneer owned by Sears Holdings, is in the throes of a mass shutdown of stores. After a bad 2011 Christmas, Sears Holdings said it would close up to 120 Sears and Kmart locations; as of January, there were just over 1,300 Kmarts in the U.S. and territories, 800 fewer than a decade earlier, when Kmart slid into bankruptcy as an independent company. In February, the parent posted its biggest quarterly loss in at least nine years. It lost $132 million in the July quarter, and analysts expect another loss, on a 10 percent drop in sales, when the company reports on Thursday. (Update, Nov. 16, 1:45 p.m. ET: Sears Holdings’ stock price is down 18 percent, to $47.75, after the company reported a wider, $498 million loss on lower sales.)

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