Sears aims to close up to 150 stores in bankruptcy

  • Sears aims to close up to 150 stores in bankruptcy

Sears aims to close up to 150 stores in bankruptcy

He said previously the situation did not have the "sense of urgency" that exists now. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sears has hired M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm specializing in seeing companies through bankruptcies and restructuring, The company is also talking to lenders about providing it with debtor-in-possession financing, CNBC reported.

Eddie Lampert, the chairman and largest shareholder of Sears who engineered the merger of Sears and Kmart in 2005, gave up his title of CEO as part of the filing. Sears Holdings (SHLD) stock ended 17% lower Wednesday. Sears sold many of its most valuable assets, including its massive real estate footprint, to raise the cash it needed to survive.

Lampert is also exploring bidding on the assets as a so-called stalking horse bidder, setting a floor with offers that other possible buyers could then attempt to top, Reuters reported last week.

Sears has two days to come up with $134 million.

In September, Lampert proposed that Sears restructure its finances without filing bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on October 9 that Sears has hired M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm, to prepare a chapter 11 filing. That kind of loan is used by companies that file for bankruptcy to fund operations during the process.

A Sears spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A key unresolved aspect of Sears' negotiations with lenders involves setting deadlines for Sears to achieve specific business goals while under bankruptcy protections, the sources said. In recent years, Toys "R" Us, RadioShack and Sports Authority have followed that path to retailing's graveyard.

American consumers are now lamenting the loss of one of the country's most famous retailers, which at one point was the world's largest. But its declines goes back decades, well before the growth of online shopping that threatens traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

But, in the past, after these sales Sears has continued to pay a portion of the insurance and property taxes on its former stores, according to Mark Cohen, a former Sears Canada executive and the current director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. A long series of store closings has left it with fewer than 900 today.

In July, Sears closed the last store in Chicago, once its hometown. The company recently announced another 46 store closings that will take place just before the start of the holiday shopping period.

People watch the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket launch in 1969 on multiple TVs at a Sears department store in White Plains, N.Y. The company began opening retail locations in 1925 and expanded swiftly in suburban malls from the 1950s to 1970s. That's down from 317,000 USA employees in early 2006, soon after the merger. In its last fiscal year, it generated 16.7 billion U.S. dollars in sales, down from more than 50 billion United States dollars in 2008.