Sears retail shop files for bankruptcy

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Sears employs about 89,000 people and their fate remains uncertain. It includes office space and housing along First Street where the Sears and the mall's massive garage now stand.

Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning it intends to reorganize and stay in business.

Sears once dominated the American retail landscape.

In March, Toys R Us announced it was shuttering all of its USA stores while other big names such as Macy's and JC Penney have also been forced to close numerous locations and lay off workers. Edward S. Lampert, the company's largest shareholder, has stepped down as CEO but will remain chairman of the board.

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An out-of-court resolution "did not prove possible", ESL said.

Sears started off in the 1880s as a mail order catalogue before taking USA malls by storms, seeing peak sales of the equivalent to 1 percent of U.S. gross national product. The company gets about 10 percent of its revenue through sales of its products at Sears.

Under Lampert, the company saw a $1.5 billion profit in 2015, but it's been downhill ever since. In a statement Monday, Whirlpool said it does not anticipate Sears' bankruptcy filing to have any impact on its full-year 2018 EPS guidance or financial results over the long term. Some, like Payless ShoeSource, successfully emerged from reorganization in bankruptcy court. Like we saw with the liquidation sales at Toys "R" Us stores earlier this year, retailers tend to offer small markdowns at the start of store liquidation sales, and then ramp up discounts as the weeks go by. Both retailers were forced to shutter their operations this year soon after Chapter 11 filings. His hedge fund owns about 40 percent of the company's debt, including about $1.1 billion in loans secured by Sears and Kmart properties. In April 2007, shares were trading at around $141.

In 2008, the company employed 302,000 people, but that figure has fallen to just 68,000, according to the New York Times. The number of stores peaked in 2012 at 4,000, including its Sears Canada division that was later spun off.

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The real estate investment trusts that own the malls and shopping centers where many Sears stores are anchor tenants have waited years for the retailer's demise to renovate the sites and boost rent, although redevelopment costs may strain some plans.

The 125-year-old company, which has not turned a profit since 2010, had a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it previously reported it can not cover. It started out as a vast mail-order business selling clothes, tools, toys and even tombstones, and became the biggest retailer in the United States before being overtaken by Walmart and later Amazon.

Sears becomes the latest major retailer from the brick-and-mortar era to declare bankruptcy as e-commerce, led by Amazon, has became a major factor.

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