Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after no longer being able to deal with its massive debt and losses. The company will close 142 stores before the end of the year and its CEO, Eddie Lampert, will step down, though he will remain its chairman. Lampert has blamed the company’s decline on the media, shifts in consumer spending, and the rise of e-commerce, among other reasons. In a statement on Monday, Lampert said: “Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets.” Lampert said that Sears and Kmart stores “remain open for business” towards the holiday season, and that the bankruptcy process will allow the chain to “strengthen its balance sheet,” to “accelerate its strategic transformation,” and ultimately to “return to profitability.” Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. The company started out as a mail order catalog in the 1880s, but has lagged behind its competition and has incurred massive losses over the years. The operator of Sears and Kmart stores joins a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or liquidated in the last few years.
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