S'boro Kmart set

to close this year

The Kmart store on Route 14 east in Streetsboro is among 72 more Kmart and Sears stores which will close in the next few months. That's in addition to 180 locations the company previously announced it would close.

Business Insider reported last week the company plans to shut most of the 72 stores by September. Sears has been struggling to adjust to the changing retail landscape and rising competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.

The firm reported sales at Sears' U.S. stores open more than a year fell 12.4 percent, while at Kmart it declined 11.2 percent in the first quarter ending April 29.

The company said in April it expected a net profit of between $185 million and $285 million for the first quarter, through a cost-cutting plan which included store closures and eliminating management jobs.

In March, the company sold its Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. for an upfront payment of $525 million.

As reported by Business Insider, the latest closures in Ohio also include two stores in Columbus and one each in Elyria and Franklin, while a Kmart in Wooster and auto center in Elyria also are scheduled to close.

Kmart closings in Ohio previously announced are in Mount Vernon, Gallipolis, Kenton, New Boston, St Clairsville and Zanesville, and Sears closings in Ohio are in Akron, Chillicothe, Lancaster and Richmond Heights.

New vehicles gain

in sales in May '17

New vehicle dealers across Northern Ohio enjoyed strong sales in May, according to the latest figures released by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association.

Franchised dealers sold 21,388 new vehicles last month compared to 20,562 in May 2016, an increase of just over 4 percent. Trucks and SUVs buoyed new vehicle sales growth, with dealers selling 29.7 percent more than in May 2016.

"With most industry analysts predicting a softer new vehicle market this year, once again the Northern Ohio market is on the rise," said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. "We're cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue, while preparing for a plateau sometime this year."

New car sales in May were off 10 percent from 11,979 to 9,409. For the first five months of 2017, new car sales were off 12 percent, while new truck and SUV sales are up over 36 percent.

Chevrolet bumped Ford from its No. 1 spot in Northern Ohio, selling 3,144 new vehicles to the Blue Oval's 3,106 units. Honda easily outdistanced Toyota for third, selling 1,928 new vehicles to 1,663 sold by its offshore rival.

Sales of used vehicles also fared well in May, registering an increase of over 8 percent when compared with May 2016.