Since 2009, more than half of the Sears and Kmarts in the Midwest have closed, and nearly half in the South are gone. Illinois alone has lost 43 Kmarts; Alabama’s 14 Sears stores have dwindled to three.
Meantime, Amazon has surged from 17 warehouse locations to more than 260 in 30 states, nearly half of which it opened in 2015 and 2016. (Sears had 31 domestic distribution centers at the end of January, down from 39 in 2009.)
Amazon has been opening smaller distribution centers, including hubs for its two-hour delivery service, along with the giant distribution and sorting facilities it previously emphasized. And Amazon is poised to add 445 stores when it acquires Whole Foods later this year.