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Half of all the remaining Sears and Kmarts have a Walmart or Target less than a mile away

6 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in

Some retail chains, like Target ($NYSE:TGT), are thriving in what some call the "retail apocalypse" as they make savvy moves like in-store pickup, investments in e-commerce, and launches of smaller stores. Others, like Kmart and Sears, are struggling to find their place in an environment of consumer apathy, wage inflation, and tight margins.

Today, Kmart and Sears ($NASDAQ:SHLD) parent company Transform Co. announced that it would be closing 21 Sears and five Kmart locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. It blamed a "generally weak retail environment" for the closures along with ongoing legal battles with Sears Holdings.

So what remains of Sears and Kmart? And do consumers have a (arguably) better choice nearby? We took a look at the stores' outlays on a map below to show some of the recent contraction.

On the map above, if you click on "Show timeline" you'll see an animation of Sears and Kmart openings — and closures — over the past decade.

As of this week, our database tracks 3,788 stores for the two brands — 2,641 for Sears and 1,147 for Kmart. Consumers nearby those stores clearly have choices, and according to our records, there are 570 Target stores within a mile of those 3,788 locations. Meanwhile, there are 1,300 Walmarts of some variety within a mile of the remaining Sears and Kmarts.

There are 570 Target stores within a mile of the remaining Kmarts and Sears. Meanwhile, there are 1,300 Walmarts of some variety within a mile of the remaining Sears and Kmarts.

That combines for 1,870 Walmarts ($NYSE:WMT) or Targets within the remaining Sears and Kmarts. At last count, that mean that 49% — roughly half — of the remaining Kmarts and Sears have a competitor within a 5-minute drive.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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