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What: Shares of chain retailer Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD ) jumped 11% following news that the company has agreed to close three of its major retail stores in Canada.
So what: Struggling to generate cash, Sears announced this morning it was planning to close outlets at the Vancouver Pacific Centre, the Calgary Chinook Centre, and the Ottawa Rideau Centre by Oct. 31. It plans to return the locations back to developer Cadillac Fairview Corp. for a sum of $170 million Canadian.
Now what: Welcome to the new softer side of Sears. We've seen store closures and now the fire sales have begun. Sears' declining business has caused a serious cash crunch, and it's doing its best to shore up its balance sheet. However, I don't see a magic pill solution to Sears' problems. It's going to take years to rebrand the company and move its focus back to its primary growth brands like Craftsman and Kenmore and, given that, I'm avoiding the stock here like the plague.
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