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Sears is closing 66 more stores

Sears is closing 66 more stores

Sears Holdings is closing 66 more stores in its drive to bring its Sears and Kmart stores back to profitability, a source close to the chain said Tuesday.

The closing will include 49 Kmart stores and 17 Sears stores, with most closing by September. The new closures expand the list of 180 shutdowns the embattled U.S. retailer announced earlier this year. News of the latest round of closures was first reported by Business Insider.

Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, had no immediate comment on closings.

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The financial woes of the Illinois-based company whose name has been a trusted retailing icon for generations of Americans have deepened dramatically in recent months.

In January, Sears Holdings said it would close 150 underperforming stores, including 108 Kmart locations. The financial survival move, coming in the wake of even earlier shutdowns, also included the sale of the company's Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for roughly $900 million.

Just two months later, the company stunned investors with a Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure that said Sears Holdings had "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue operations unless it could increase its borrowing and tap cash from assets. The announcement sent the company's shares down 12.3 percent.

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In May, Sears Holdings quietly added at least 30 additional locations to the shutdowns announced at the beginning of the year. The updated list at that time included 12 Sears stores and 18 Kmart locations, ranging from Carson, California to Hialeah, Florida.

Most have been scheduled to shut their doors in July, according to information gathered from calls to the stores, shopping malls at the locations, and confirmations in local media reports.

Moving to preserve cash and reduce debt, the parent company also announced in May that it would delay repaying much of a $500 million loan. Sears Holdings subsidiaries now have an agreement that will allow them to repay $100 million of the loan in July, the debt's initial maturity date.

The remaining $400 million is not scheduled to come due until January of 2018, and the company has the option of pushing the maturity date to July of next year.