(John Minchillo / AP)

Liquidation sales will begin this week at 20 additional stores in the Sears Holdings portfolio.

Spokesman Howard Riefs said the company sold 235 Sears and Kmart stores to Seritage as part of an agreement in which Sears Holdings leases the stores back from Seritage. Under the agreement, Riefs said Sears Holdings has the option to exit leases by making a payment equal to one year of rent if a store is unprofitable.

“We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced,” he said in an email to AL.com. “As such, we have informed Seritage that we will soon be exiting 18 Sears stores and two…