Iconic US retailer Sears Holdings Corp files for bankruptcy

15 October, 2018, 12:57 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Throughout Sears' long struggle some vendors learned early to reduce their exposure

The company filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in NY.

The company said it has arranged $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which will allow it to continue operating the business and paying employees while it tries to restructure around a smaller group of stores.

Those deals could be subjected to new scrutiny by Sears' creditors in bankruptcy court. Sears was widely considered to be an early innovator of the shopping landscape. It will shut another 142 stores by the end of the year, following 46 recently announced store closures.

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert and a Sears store. The company will now be run by three of the company's top executives.

While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the company's immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer.

But while the retailers typically file for bankruptcy with the intention of staying in business, numerous retailers end up going out of business after filing.

The upcoming critical holiday season will be a particular challenge for the company.

USA retailer Sears, a brand that once dominated shopping malls in the country, has filed for bankruptcy. Sears Canada Inc. liquidated a year ago and about 12,000 people lost their jobs.

The department-store chain has been losing money and closing stores for years. It slashed spending on advertising and it failed to invest in the upkeep and modernization of its stores. Since 2012, losses have topped $10 billion. Sears has been looking for a buyer for its Kenmore brand of appliances for years.

Talks are continuing in advance of a $134 million debt payment that's coming due for Sears on Monday - a payment that Lampert has reportedly told associates he doesn't plan to make. The Sears board never accepted the offer. In its last fiscal year, it generated 16.7 billion USA dollars in sales, down from more than 50 billion United States dollars in 2008. Sales have plunged 60% since then. In the last two years alone, the company has closed more than 725 Sears and Kmart stores.

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Parts of Sears have already been through bankruptcy. Total revenue dropped 30 per cent in the most recent quarter, hurt by continued store closings. Once the dominant appliance retailer in the country, Sears accounted for only 3% of Whirlpool's sales worldwide a year ago.

All signs point to a bankruptcy filing in the next few days. But he warned that the company was running out the cash.

Sears Holdings - which also owns Kmart - filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

Sears was once the nation's largest retailer and its largest employer.

"There was a time when Sears was the Amazon of its day". He soon partnered with watch repairman Alvah Roebuck. Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s iconic catalogue featured items from bicycles to sewing machines to houses, and could generate excitement throughout a household when it arrived.

The Sears catalog was the way many Americans first started to buy mass produced goods.

Sears' stores helped reshape America, drawing shoppers away from the traditional Main Street merchants. But it struggled to get more people through the doors or to shop online. Big box retailers such as Walmart beat it on both price and merchandise selection.

Eddie Lampert, left, pledged to return Sears to greatness by leveraging its best-known brands and its vast holdings of land. At the time, they had 3,500 USA stores between them.

As of May, it had fewer than 900 stores, down from about 1,000 at the end of previous year.

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