March 21, 2023

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Bankruptcy burns, a handful of stores remain

Bankruptcy burns, a handful of stores remain

Sears Holdings It emerged from bankruptcy after more than 10,000 court filings and a four-year stay that saw the supermarket chain shrink from roughly 700 stores to fewer than twenty.

The bankruptcy estate’s reorganization plan went into effect on October 29, indicating that end of chapter 11 and start the process of liquidating its remaining assets.

Sears Holdings is a front company. It sold its stores in February 2019 to ESL Investments, a subsidiary of former Sears president Eddie Lampert. The $5.2 billion sale involved more than 400 retail locations.

Ray Wimer, professor of retail practice at Syracuse University, doesn’t expect Sears’ 20-plus stores to survive. “They don’t have an attractive value proposition for customers and the amount of competition in a retail market that offers similar merchandise means the end will come at some point,” he told FOX Business.

Where to shop in America

Customers shop at the Sears store at Woodfield Mall on September 17, 2021, in Schaumburg, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Sears once proclaimed itself as “Where’s America’s Stores” and flaunted merchandise lines from model Sheryl Teggs and “Charlie’s Angels” star Jacqueline Smith.

At its peak, Sears, Roebuck was the largest retailer in the world, with Approximately 3,500 Sears and Kmart stores, including 2,350 full-fledged and outdoor stores and 1,100 specialty retail stores. Sears has also had a range of notable brands and companies operating, including Kenmore, DieHard, Craftsman, Sears Home Services, Sears Auto Centers, and Innovel.

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The Walmart competitor had just over 3,000 stores: 1,353 discount stores and 1,713 Supercenters.

Fox Business

The Kmart sign still appears above a shopping mall in Lawnside, New Jersey, on October 29, 2022, a decade after Kmart closed. The property was finally sold in 2022.

Lambert, then president of Kmart Holding, bought Sears for $11 billion in March 2005 in an effort to ward off traditional rivals like Walmart and e-commerce rivals like Amazon.

At the time of the merger, the Sears-Kmart group, called Transformco, had annual revenues of $55 billion, a fifth of Walmart’s 2004 financial total of $256 billion.

Amazon has annual revenue of $2.54 billion. Since then, the The world’s largest online retailer Its sales grew to $469.8 billion while Walmart finished 2021 at $572.8 billion. Transformco is a private company and does not report on financial results.

fire sales


Sears tried to stave off bankruptcy by closing stores and selling assets. Burn Sold her brand Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017 for $775 million and closed 300 stores in 2018.

It wasn’t enough.

company He entered bankruptcy in October 2018 With 687 stores. Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, the department store has fallen victim to declining sales. Revenues declined 53.8% in the five years prior to bankruptcy, leading some sellers to demand unfavorable payment schedules, cut subsidies or demand cash in advance as a condition for continued delivery of goods.

Lambert bought the remaining Sears assets in January 2019 bankruptcy auction It acquired Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores in June. he is DieHard sold to Advance Auto for $200 million in December 2019.

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Transformco continued to sell stores and closed the last 15 Sears Auto Center locations in January.

Based on what he has seen, Professor Wimmer says he expects Sears to die slowly, noting that it is unlikely that anyone would be interested in buying any of the Sears assets, if Lambert were interested in selling, given their small size. remaining stores.

There are now fewer than two dozen Sears stores, excluding the smaller format Hometown stores, According to BroStocks And the Sears website.

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Surviving Sears Stores:

  • Alaska: Anchorage (home and life)
  • California: Burbank, Concord, Stockton, Whittier
  • Colorado: Fort Collins (Application & Mattress)
  • Florida: Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens
  • Hawaii: Honolulu (appliances and mattresses)
  • Kansas: Overland Park (home and life)
  • Louisiana: Lafayette (home and life)
  • Maryland: Frederick
  • Massachusetts: Braintree
  • New Jersey: Jersey City
  • North Carolina: Greensboro
  • Pennsylvania: Camp Hill
  • Puerto Rico: San Juan
  • Texas: El Paso, var (appliances and mattresses)
  • Washington: Tukwila, Union Gap