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Sears at Knoxville Center Mall set to close later this year

The department store chain has been caught in a vicious cycle — shuttering weak stores to reduce costs.

Sears Holdings said Thursday it will be closing more than 70 additional stores in 2018 as its sales continue to erode, dropping more than 30 percent in the latest quarter from a year ago.

That list includes the one in Knoxville Center Mall, and indicates the closings will start in September 2018, though the auto center there could close as early as July.

"We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted," Sears said in a statement announcing its fiscal first-quarter results.

The department store chain has been caught in a vicious cycle — shuttering weak stores to reduce costs. But even as it closes more stores, sales fall further. In the latest period, Sears said roughly two-thirds of its sales decline was tied to store closures.

More KMart stores across the country are also closing.

CNBC contributed to this report.