Facing possible liquidation, Sears to close 80 more stores in March
31 December 2018
Sears Holdings has announced plans to close 80 more Sears and Kmart stores across the US in March, in addition to the nearly 200 stores already set for closure. In October, the retailer filed for bankruptcy and was operating nearly 700 stores, saying it would close only 142 unprofitable stores. The next month, it was announced that 40 additional stores would be closed.
Workers at the stores in the latest round of closures were told that liquidation sales would begin in two weeks and that adjacent Sears Auto Centers would also be shut down.
Sears Chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert has offered to buy Kmart and Sears out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund ESL Investments. Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of ESL, submitted a last-minute bid on Friday to purchase all the assets of Sears Holding, with 425 stores valued at $4.4 billion. This includes a $1.3 billion financing commitment from three financial groups.
The company and its advisers now have until January 4 to determine whether the bid is “qualified.” Transform said that if the bid is successful the company that emerges will employ up to 50,000 people, of the existing 68,000 employees.
Lampert had made a $4.6 billion proposal to buy the company on December 6. The deal included 500 stores, the Kenmore appliance and DieHard Tool brands, 50,000 employees, key real estate and the company’s inventory and receivables.
Sears faces liquidation if the latest offer is not approved by a bankruptcy judge. Recently, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain allowed the company to sell its home-improvement service business to Service.com for $60 million. The company, once an icon of American capitalism, has been suffering…