Sears and Kohl’s have announced plans to open new stores as part of a strategy to help the struggling department store industry in the wake of a devastating fire that killed 32 people and injured nearly 400 others in the Chicago area.
The move is expected to spur more consolidation in the retail space, which already faces an uphill battle with smaller, local rivals such as Target and Kmart.
Sears will also sell about 3,500 jobs, including 1,600 at the newly opened Bunnies department store in South Bend, Indiana, the company said Friday.
Bunnys, the largest department store chain in the U.S., will open a second location in Michigan.
The chain will also open a store in Indiana, as well as a store near Detroit and another in Indiana.
“This will allow us to continue to deliver quality, innovative products at the most competitive prices and the largest selection of brands and services, while remaining an affordable and accessible destination for people of all ages and income levels,” Sears CEO Tim Mulligan said in a statement.
The announcement comes as Sears announced that it had reached a new deal with Macy’s to open its flagship store in the city.
The Macy’s deal is a one-time deal and the new stores will open with Macy the following year, the retailer said in its announcement.
More: Sears has committed to opening more than 500 new stores in 2020.