Bay Area Sears Stores To Close After Retailer Files For Bankruptcy

Marcus Newton
October 16, 2018

Beyond the $300 million bankruptcy financing package from its existing lenders that Sears secured on Monday, the retailer said it was negotiating an additional $300 million in bankruptcy financing from Lampert's ESL. 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.

Two Sears stores in the Denver metro area are among the 142 Sears and Kmart locations that will close after the company filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill. -based retailer, which listed more than $10 billion in debts and more than $1 billion in assets in its filing, said it is seeking to reorganize around a smaller base of profitable stores. Plus, in bankruptcy proceedings, the largest creditors become the owners of the new entity. "There are number of other retailers that are posting increasingly disappointing numbers".

Yes. Sears and Sears.com remain open and loyalty programs, including the Shop Your Way membership program, warranties, protection agreements, layaways, and the Sears and private label credit card and credit rewards programs continue as normal.

Sears capitalized on both of these realizations to build catalog and department store businesses that shaped American retail for almost a century. The company's comparable sales growth is spotty, and it still seems to be figuring out how to incorporate this lower-margin product category into its business in a healthy way.

The critical holiday season will be a particular challenge for Sears.

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Lampert pledged to return Sears to greatness by leveraging its best-known brands and its vast holdings of land, and more recently planned to entice customers with a loyalty program.

Chicago's Sears Tower was the world's tallest building when it was completed in 1973, but in the following decades consumers increasingly turned to e-commerce and brick-and-mortar rivals such as Walmart and Target.

"It's been a walking zombie for a long, long time..." In August, the company announced another 46 store closings. Landlords who expected to get lease payments, and cities that expected tax revenues, from those operations will get left empty-handed.

It's possible that more stores, or possibly all stores, could end up closing if the company isn't able to restructure in bankruptcy. The ripple effect will be substantial. Many of these malls already have had difficulty filling in the void from J.C. Penney and Macy's closures. That's the toughest part of this of all, of course; my first job outside of flipping burgers or making pizzas was at the Sears in Cerritos, California, where I worked for about eighteen months. It made money in its core business while it could, and then someone else with a different set of competencies rose up to take its place when the market fundamentals shifted under its feet. We were treated decently, paid on time, and got reasonable discounts on good merchandise.

2005 - Kmart buys Sears and the company becomes the Sears Holdings Corp. That compares favorably to General Motors, which went bankrupt in 2009 after the financial crisis in part because of its obligations to retirees.

"As a kid, everyone would talk about Toughskins from Sears", said Tammy Duke of Butner, who wore the jeans as a child.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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