(Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp will close as many as 120 of its Kmart and namesake big-box stores after sales during the peak holiday period fell sharply, and the retailer also forecast that fourth quarter earnings would fall by more than half, sending its shares plunging some 25 percent.
Adding to the share selloff, Sears also disclosed on Tuesday that it has tapped its credit facility to borrow cash.
Once one of the leading retailers with a national reach through its popular catalog along with hundreds of stores, Sears has been pressured in recent years by competitors ranging from Wal-Mart Stores to Amazon.com.
Under the stewardship of Chairman Edward Lampert, the company has let stores deteriorate, while analysts also cite poor locations and ho-hum merchandise for its ongoing decline.
"They've neglected this business for so long," independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi said, noting that he expects many more closings. "They are letting Kmart and Sears die on the vine."