Sears files for Chapter 11; Lampert resigns as CEO


Sears, the 125-year-old USA department store chain that was once the biggest retailer in the world, has filed for bankruptcy after years of losses and mounting competition from online rivals such as Amazon.

Sears Holdings Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday and announced that its CEO would be stepping aside for the restructuring process.

Sears had previously announced the closure of 46 stores, bringing the total store closure now to 188.

U.S. retailer Sears, a brand that once dominated shopping malls in the country, has filed for bankruptcy.

President Donald Trump said the bankruptcy of Sears Holdings Corp. was a "very, very sad" moment, especially for his generation. Once a symbol of the American lifestyle that prided itself on selling everything to everyone, it has been losing out to rival retailers Walmart and Amazon.

Along the way, the company found related innovations; for example, Allstate Insurance arose in the 1930s from the realization that Sears catalogs and stores would be good channels to sell insurance to the new legions of auto owners.

For decades, Sears was king of the American shopping landscape.

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Three companies that sell items at Sears told Reuters this week that Sears had missed payments to them over the past few weeks.

Some retailers beat Sears on price, Walmart in particular, while others beat Sears on quality.

Shares in Illinois-based Sears closed at about 41 cents on Friday, down from over $100 in the years after hedge-fund star Lampert, once hailed as another Warren Buffett, merged it with discount store Kmart in a $11-billion deal in 2005.

"As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers", Lampert said Monday.

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. Sears sold many of its most valuable assets, including its massive real estate footprint, to raise the cash it needed to survive. Options could range from food halls to pop-up stores to Tonya-Harding-esq skating rinks, Rosenblum said - so long as the concept was about more than just shopping.

Keeping shelves full and sales stable could become a determining factor in avoiding liquidation and helping creditors determine whether they want to keep throwing money into the company. Kimco shares rose 1.1 percent and Macerich stock rose 0.95 percent. He soon partnered with watch repairman Alvah Roebuck. But it seems to me Sears' errors went mostly in the other direction: Trying too hard to figure out what would be the next big thing, and thereby getting into businesses it wasn't especially good at. It was not immediately clear where those stores are located or how many jobs would be affected.

Sears' roots can be traced back to the 1880s, with the company first incorporated in 1892. That was an enormous shift for people who lived on farms and in small towns and made numerous goods they needed on their own, including clothes and furniture. But in recent years, she's been disappointed by the lack of customer service and outdated stores. That's down from 317,000 USA employees in early 2006, soon after the merger.