WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- While in bankruptcy proceedings, Sears announced Friday that it plans to close 80 more stores across the U.S. in March 2019.
- The 125-year-old company, which also owns Kmart, revealed it may be forced to liquidate its business entirely, CNBC reported.
- The long-embattled retailer was still operating less than 700 stores when it filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15.
Currently in bankruptcy proceedings, Sears Holdings revealed on Friday that it plans to close 80 more Sears and Kmart stores in late March 2019.
Sears won a reprieve Friday after Chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert made a bid to save the company from liquidating more assets. The deadline for prospective buyers and liquidators to put in their offers to buy the company was on Friday.
The long-embattled department store chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October this year. Sears had already announced the closing of 143 stores by the end of 2018 and an additional 40 Sears and Kmart stores set to close in February 2019.
Earlier in December, Lampert had put forward a proposal worth $4.6 billion to buy Sears out of bankruptcy via his hedge fund, ESL Investments. An affiliate of ESL, Transform Holdco LLC, also made a bid for Sears late Friday, valuing it at $4.4 billion.
Sears Holdings, with over 68,000 employees, may be forced to liquidate some assets if it has no bidder. It has already sold its home-improvement service business to Service.com for $60 million. The bid is not a guarantee that Sears will survive. Sears and its advisers have until Jan. 4 to agree whether ESL is a “qualified bidder.”
In a statement, Transform Holdco said that the company that would emerge from bankruptcy would hire about 50,000 employees.
The department store industry has had a difficult time over the past 5 years, as the mall has become less convenient and consumers embracing online shopping.