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Superstore icon Sears moves more online

Sears reduces High Street

The US department store icon Sears is closing its downtown Chicago flagship outlet in April as it relies more on online retailing. Apparently the store has lost "millions of dollars" since opening in 2001, a Sears spokesman said.

Writing in his bog Edward Lampert, who is Sears' CEO and top shareholder, said store closings are necessary because shoppers' habits are changing as they buy more online.

"The consensus about decreased store traffic also highlights another decision that has steered our work: we very often need less space to serve our members better and we may need fewer locations as well," Lampert said. "As difficult as these changes are, we believe the alternative of failing to plan for or even see where the retail industry is heading would be far, far worse."

Sears reported a 9.2 percent decline in comparable sales for the holiday season at its namesake chain, the latest poor showing by the retailer. The company also operates the Kmart discount chain.

Other retailers are also closing high street shops. J.C. Penney announced last week that it was closing 33 of its 1,100 stores and Macy's is closing five stores. It looks like the days of high street shopping are coming to an end.

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