Sears files for bankruptcy; will close another 142 stores

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While the company said its Sears and Kmart stores will continue to operate as usual, another 142 unprofitable locations will be shuttered by the end of 2018. The struggling retailer has 687 Sears and Kmart stores, one-third the number it ran five years ago. According to Sears Holdings, there are plans to close the Prince Frederick Kmart. Sears posted a list of its closing stores online at

According to a report, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday.

In Kenneth City, the greater Tampa areas last Kmart is open on 66th Street N. Its owned by Seritage Growth Properties — a Sears Holdings spin-off created to turn dying Sears and Kmarts into thriving shopping centers.

By closing the under-performing stores, Sears anticipates cost savings as well as more than $40 million in cash. Lampert, who remains chairman, acknowledged in the statement that turnaround efforts so far have fallen short. A new Office of the CEO will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations.

Electrolux said Monday that it has actively planned for the bankruptcy and other contingencies at the same time that it seeks other outlets that can sell its goods. In 2004, the company was acquired by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert and merged with K-Mart.

The filing listed between $1 billion and $10 billion in assets, while liabilities range between $10 billion to $50 billion.

Leases with new tenants could easily double or triple the rent Sears or Kmart now pay, the REITs say. It's unclear which stores will close.

Sears, One-Time Face of American Retail, Files for Bankruptcy
Lampert bought Sears in 2004 and merged it with Kmart, in which he had a controlling stake, the next year. The company has more than 700 stores across the country, including at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.

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Monday's bankruptcy filing was the latest step in a long slide for the once-storied retailer, which has been overtaken both by online retailers and more nimble brick-and-mortar competitors. Some, like Payless ShoeSource, successfully emerged from reorganization in bankruptcy court.

As the company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Sears will be closing more than 142 stores across the country.

Keeping shelves full and sales stable could become a determining factor in avoiding liquidation and helping creditors determine whether they want to keep throwing money into the company.

This will absolutely be a hard task, given Sears hasn't turned a profit since 2011. Sears has suffered losses of more than $10 billion (€8.64 billion) over the last decade alone, as it struggled to come to terms with low-priced competitors and particularly e-commerce giants such as Amazon. The firm has closed hundreds of stores over the last decade, carries more than $5.6 billion in debt, has seen its stock price decimated and sold off several of its major brands in an effort to stay afloat.

The company, technically known now as Sears Holding Corp., was virtually synonymous with large scale retail sales for much of the last century.

Lampert and Mnunchin were roommates at Yale and Mnunchin joined Sears' board of directors in 2005.

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