Retailers are scrambling to keep stock flowing after their biggest holiday week ever, the biggest one in the history of the company.
Walmart has said it will sell all or most of the 1,500-plus stores that it still owns, and Sears Holdings said it would close its doors at least 50 of its 250 U.S. and Canada stores, which have been open for the past 30 years.
As more stores closed, the stock of stores that remain open surged more than 10% to the highest level since June, before falling in the trading day.
At Sears Holdings, all stores in the U.K. and Ireland are expected to close by the end of the week, but some locations may have been closed during the holiday season, the company said Friday.
Sears Holdings has been struggling with declining store sales as the retail sector recovers from a devastating recession.
Its shares were down 7.5% in Friday trading.
“We are not going to see another significant decline in the next two weeks,” Sears Holdings Chief Financial Officer John D. Wiedemann said in a conference call Friday.
Sears has been taking its customers home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the company says it still sees about 3,000 daily sales for Christmas Day.
Walmart and Sears are the top two retailers in the United States.
On Thursday, Sears Holdings and other retailers that were hit hard by the financial crisis announced record holiday-day holiday sales that exceeded Wall Street expectations.
Walmart sold 4.6 million holiday packages and 3 million items, while Sears reported a record total of 3.7 million items sold.