Sears Holdings has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in White Plains, New York, the company announced this morning.
The iconic company, which owns Sears and Kmart, said early Mondaythat it will shutter 142 of its stores “near the end of the year” in addition to 46 closures announced this summer. A list of the affected locations was not immediately available. Earlier this summer, Sears Holdings owned 506 Sears stores and 360 Kmart stores.
Here’s what you need to know about the announcement:
1. LOCAL IMPACT
Sears announced in August that it would close its Dayton Mall location, along with 45 other stores nationwide. Sears Holdings also announced in late January that 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores would close. Five Kmart locations in Ohio were impacted in that round of closures.
There are other Sears locations at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, Kettering Towne Center, Piqua and Huber Heights. All Kmart stores in the region have already closed.
2. “FIGHTING TO SURVIVE”
The announcement of bankruptcy doesn’t come as a surprise. Eddie Lampert, CEO and chairman of Sears Holding Corp., told Vanity Fair earlier this year that the retailer was “fighting to survive.”
“We’re fighting to survive — that’s pretty clear,” Lampert told Vanity Fair. “I believe in what’s possible, and we’re doing things that are necessary to keep the company going …. It’s definitely not just humbled me, but it’s expanded my awareness of real issues that exist in our society…. I feel like I can make a contribution by being involved, O.K.?”
Sears Holdings already closed more than 350 stores in 2017.
4. LONG COMPANY HISTORY
In 2003, Lampert said the operating profit was around $400 million and the next year it was $900 million. In 2005, he decided that Kmart should buy Sears. “Kmart was a turnaround,” he says. “Putting Kmart and Sears together was a transformation.”
5. DYING RETAILERS
Sears joins multiple retailers that have filed for bankruptcy in the past year. Elder-Beerman, Mattress Firm and Toys “R” Us have all filed for bankruptcy and shuttered stores in the past year, leaving vacant tenant space across the Miami Valley. More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018 — up from roughly 9,000 in 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a marketing and data analysis firm.
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