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Sears will close 80 additional stores while moving on the verge of total liquidation.
Iconic retailer, which was once the largest department store chain in the United States, set Friday as the deadline to accept purchase offers from the remaining stores to avoid closure altogether.
The chain, which began as a catalog of mailing sales in the 1880s, has sunk in a downward spiral towards bankruptcy, influenced by the Great Recession and later dominated by its competitors, both physical and online.
80 stores will be closed in March, added to 182 stores scheduled to close, including 142 stores at the end of 2018 and 40 other stores in February. The company filed for bankruptcy in October, indicating at that time that it would close more than 20% of its buildings and only make the 500 most profitable companies active.
Sears Holdings Corp., which also manages Kmart, joins a list of retail brands absorbed by hedging funds that are falling apart due to the debt burden imposed on them.
With venture capital manager Eddie Lampert at the helm, Sears gained time by removing a number of shops and selling iconic brands such as Craftsman.
Lampert, the company's president and major shareholder, lent his own money and made an agreement to keep the company afloat and provide whatever benefits he could get to the ESL risk fund. Lampert and ESL have tried to buy the remaining Sears for up to 4,600 million in cash and shares.
However, until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, no one had submitted an official offer. Sears declined to comment.