Sears Files for Chapter 11; to Close Another 142 Stores - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sears Files for Chapter 11; to Close Another 142 Stores

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In this July 8, 2017, file photo people walk into a Sears store slated for closing that is next to a mall that is being torn down in Overland Park, Kan. In this July 8, 2017, file photo people walk into a Sears store slated for closing that is next to a mall that is being torn down in Overland Park, Kan.

NEW YORK (AP)- Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses.           

The question now is whether a smaller version of the company that once dominated the American retail landscape can remain viable or whether the iconic brand will be forced out of business.           

Sears, which started as a mail order catalog in the 1880s, has been on a slow march toward extinction as it lagged far behind its peers and incurred massive losses over the years.           

"This is a company that in the 1950s stood like a colossus over the American retail landscape," said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultancy. "Hopefully, a smaller new Sears will be healthier."           

The company has struggled with outdated stores and complaints about customer service. That's in contrast with chains like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy's, which have been enjoying stronger sales as they benefit from a robust economy and efforts to make the shopping experience more inviting by investing heavily in remodeling and de-cluttering their stores.           

Sears Holdings, which operates both Sears and Kmart stores, will close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year, with liquidation sales expected to begin shortly. That's in addition to the closure of 46 unprofitable stores that had already been announced. Edward S. Lampert has stepped down as CEO but will remain chairman of the board. A new Office of the CEO will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations.           

Sears joins a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or liquidated in the last few years amid a fiercely competitive climate. Some, like Payless ShoeSource, successfully emerged from reorganization in bankruptcy court. But plenty of others like, Toys R Us and Bon-Ton Stores Inc., haven't. Both retailers were forced to shutter their operations this year soon after Chapter 11 filings.           

Given its sheer size, Sears' bankruptcy filing will have wide ripple effects on everything from already ailing landlords to its tens of thousands of workers.           

Lampert, the largest shareholder, has been loaning out his own money for years and has put together deals to prop up the company, which in turn has benefited his own ESL hedge fund.           

Last year, Sears sold its famous Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., following earlier moves to spin off pieces of its Sears Hometown and Outlet division and Lands' End.           

In recent weeks, Lampert has been pushing for a debt restructuring and offering to buy some of Sears' key assets, like Kenmore, through his hedge fund as a $134 million debt repayment came due on Monday. Lampert personally owns 31 percent of the company's shares, while his hedge fund has an 18.5 percent stake, according to FactSet.           

"It is all well and good to undertake financial engineering, but the company is in the business of retailing and without a clear retail plan, the firm simply has no reason to exist," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, in a recent analyst note.           

Sears' stock has fallen from about $6 over the past year to below the minimum $1 level that Nasdaq stocks are required to trade in order to remain on the stock index. In April 2007, shares were trading at around $141. The company, which once had 350,000 workers, has seen its workforce shrink to fewer than 90,000 people as of earlier this year.           

As of May, it had fewer than 900 stores, down from a 2012 peak of 4,000.           

In a March 2017 government filing, Sears said there was "substantial doubt" it would be able to keep its doors open - but insisted its turnaround efforts would mitigate that risk.           

Lampert pledged to return Sears to greatness by leveraging its best-known brands and its vast holdings of land, and more recently planned to entice customers with a loyalty program. But losses continued and the company struggled to get more people through the doors or to shop online.           

Jennifer Roberts, 36, of Dayton, Ohio, was a long-time fan of Sears and has fond memories of shopping there for clothes as a child. But in recent years, she's been disappointed by the lack of customer service and outdated stores.           

"My mom had always bought her appliances from Sears. That's where my dad got his tools," she said. "But they don't care about their customers anymore."           

She said a refrigerator her mother bought at Sears broke after two years and still hasn't been fixed.           

"If they don't value a customer, then they don't need my money," Roberts said.           

Sales at the company's established locations tumbled nearly 4 percent during its fiscal second quarter. Still, that was an improvement from the same period a year ago. Total revenue dropped 30 percent in the most recent quarter, hurt by continued store closings.           

"The problem in Sears' case is that it is a poor retailer," Saunders wrote in his analyst note. "Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop keeping standards. Under benign conditions, this would be problematic enough but in today's hyper-competitive retail environment it is a recipe for failure on a grand scale."           

For decades, Sears was king of the American shopping landscape. Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s iconic catalog featured items from bicycles to sewing machines to houses, and could generate excitement throughout a household when it arrived. The company began opening retail locations in 1925 and expanded swiftly in suburban malls from the 1950s to 1970s. But the onset of discounters like Walmart created challenges for Sears that have only grown. Sears faced even more competition from online sellers and appliance retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot.           

Store shelves have been left bare as many vendors have demanded more stringent payment terms, says Mark Cohen, a professor of retailing at Columbia University and a former Sears executive.           

Meanwhile, Sears workers are nervous about what kind of severance they'll receive if their stores close.           

John Germann, 46, works full-time and makes $14 per hour as the lead worker unloading merchandise from trucks at the Chicago Ridge, Illinois, store, which has been drastically reducing its staff since he started nine years ago. Germann now has only 11 people on his team, compared with about 30 a few years ago.           

"We're doing the job of two to three people. It's not safe," he said. "We're lifting treadmills and refrigerators."

Below is the list of 142 new store closings, according to the court filing. (In parentheses: other entities listed as lease assignee or co-tenants):

 

Kmart 

 

Arkansas

2821 East Main St Russellville, AR 72801-9801

California

215 W Hanford/Armona Rd Lemoore, CA 93245-2302

1351 E Hatch Rd Modesto, CA 95351-5010

375 E Alessandro Blvd Riverside, CA 92508-2463

3247 W Noble Ave Visalia, CA 93277-1841

912 County Line Rd Delano, CA 93215-3823

2530 S Euclid Ave Ontario, CA 91762-6619

3968-A Missouri Flat Road Placerville, CA 95667-5240

Florida

900 N W 76 Boulevard Gainesville, FL 32606-6747

12350 Sw 8Th Street Miami, FL 33184-1510 (Goodwill)

Georgia

400 Crosstown Road Peachtree City, GA 30269-2915

6239 Turner Lake Road Covington, GA 30014-2064

Illinois

3701 Broadway St Quincy, IL 62301-3721 (Ruby Tuesday)

4210 N Harlem Ave Norridge, IL 60706-1277

5000 23Rd Ave Moline, IL 61265-4599

Indiana

430 W Ridge Rd Griffith, IN 46319-1095 (El Centro Mall)

723 3rd Ave Jasper, IN 47546-3639

Iowa

2803 E Kanesville Blvd Council Bluffs, IA 51503-1004

1111 N 2nd Cherokee, IA 51012-1287

2307 Superior Webster City, IA 50595-3165

Kansas

400 South Broadway Salina, KS 67401-4005

7836 State Ave Kansas City, KS 66112-2417

Kentucky

600 C W Stevens Blvd Grayson, KY 41143-1190

Northridge S/C Us Hwy 127 Russell Springs, KY 42642-4559

Louisiana

7000 Veterans Memorial Metairie, LA 70003-4497

Maine

417 Main Street Madawaska, ME 04756-1197

Maryland

835 Solomons Island Rd N Prince Frederick, MD 20678-3912

6163 Oxon Hill Road Oxon Hill, MD 20745-3108

Michigan

06600 M-66 North Charlevoix, MI 49720-9505

1025 M-24 Lake Orion, MI 48360-1429

Missouri

2901-5 N Belt Hwy St. Joseph, MO 64506-2006

7100 NW Prairie View Rd Kansas City, MO 64151-1630 (Zeller Auto Repair)

1 Flower Valley Shp Ctr Florissant, MO 63033-1644

New Jersey

779 Delsea Dr N Glassboro, NJ 08028-1435

New York

987 Route 6 Mahopac, NY 10541-1709

8363 Lewiston Road Batavia, NY 14020-1236

2590 Military Rd Niagara Falls, NY 14304-1506

349 Orchard Park Rd West Seneca, NY 14224-2634

93 West Campbell Rd Schenectady, NY 12306-6800

North Carolina

1530 East Broad Street Statesville, NC 28625-4302

4500 Western Blvd Raleigh, NC 27606-1814 (Choice Auto Repair)

1001 Patton Ave Asheville, NC 28806-3643

Ohio

15891 State Rt 170 East Liverpool, OH 43920-9633

17840 Bagley Rd Middleburg Heights, OH 44130-3401

Oregon

3955 S W Murray Blvd Beaverton, OR 97005-2316 (Glowing Greens LLC)

Pennsylvania

720 Clairton Blvd/Rte 51 Pleasant Hills, PA 15236-4517

528 W Plank Road Altoona, PA 16602-2802

1502 South Fourth St Allentown, PA 18103-4949 (Floreff LLC & Nathan & Alison LLC)

1000 Nutt Rd Phoenixville, PA 19460-2200

1170 Mae Street Hummelstown, PA 17036-9185

100 Tarentum Rd New Kensington, PA 15068-4670

1180 Walnut Bottom Rd Carlisle, PA 17013-9160

3205 Lincoln Hwy Thorndale, PA 19372-1012

111 Hulst Dr, Ste 722 Matamoras, PA 18336-2115

South Carolina

129 West Butler Avenue Mauldin, SC 29662-2534 (Mauldin at Butler LLC)

2302 Cherry Rd Rock Hill, SC 29732-2165

Tennessee

6909 Maynardville Pike Ne Knoxville, TN 37918-5325

Virginia

6364 Springfield Plaza Springfield, VA 22150-3431

118 Waller Mill Rd Williamsburg, VA 23185-2946 (New Oriental Crafts LLC)

2712 W Main St Waynesboro, VA 22980-1618

Washington

1001 E Sunset Drive Bellingham, WA 98226-3510

West Virginia

1701 4Th Ave W Charleston, WV 25387-2415

Wyoming

4000 East 2nd Street Casper, WY 82609-2385

 

Sears 

Alabama

1001 Rainbow Dr Gadsden, AL 35901-5376

Arizona

2250 El Mercado Loop Sierra Vista, AZ 85635-5204

3150 S 4Th Ave Yuma, AZ 85364-8104

6515 E Southern Ave Mesa/East, AZ 85206-3711

7611 W Thomas Rd Phoenix-Desert Sky, AZ 85033-5433

3177 Chandler Village Dr Chandler, AZ 85226-

California

1700 Stoneridge Dr Pleasanton, CA 94588- (Lands' End)

100 Santa Rosa Plz Santa Rosa, CA 95401-6381 (Lands' End)

3333 Bristol St Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1811 (Lands' End)

1011 W Olive Ave Merced, CA 95348-2422

5901 Florin Rd Florin, CA 95823-2302

3751 S Dogwood Ave El Centro, CA 92243-

100 Vintage Faire Mall Modesto, CA 95356-0559

100 Los Cerritos Mall Cerritos, CA 90703-5421

1401 N Montebello Blvd Montebello, CA 90640-2584

3001 Ming Ave Bakersfield, CA 93304-4145

Colorado

10785 W Colfax Ave Lakewood, CO 80215-3807

7001 S University Blvd Centennial, CO 80122-1599 (Lands' End)

Connecticut

1201 Boston Post Rd Sp 2095 Milford, CT 06460- (Lands' End)

850 Hartford Tnpk Waterford, CT 06385- (Lands' End Inc.)

Florida

733 N Highway 231 Panama City, FL 32405-5302

300 Mary Esther Blvd Mry Est/Ft Wltn Bch, FL 32569-1693

1050 S Babcock St Melbourne, FL 32901-3022

3800 Us Highway 98 N Ste 500 Lakeland, FL 33809-3824

303 Us Hwy 301 Blvd W Bradenton, FL 34205-7991

3100 Sw College Rd Ste 300 Ocala, FL 34474-8449

Idaho

460 N Milwaukee St Boise, ID 83704-9122

Illinois

3340 Mall Loop Dr Joliet, IL 60431-1057

Indiana

1251 Us Highway 31 N Greenwood, IN 46142-4503

6780 W Washington St Indianapolis, IN 46241-2999

3401 S Us Highway 41 Terre Haute, IN 47802-4154

Kentucky

4807 Outer Loop Louisville-Okolona, KY 40219-3200

2625 Scottsville Rd Bowling Green, KY 42104-4477

Maryland

15700 Emerald Way Bowie, MD 20716-2200

400 N Center St Westminster, MD 21157-5140

10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy Columbia, MD 21044-3341 (Lands' End)

Massachusetts

1235 Worcester Rd & Natick, MA 01760 (Lands' End)

Michigan

900 Briarwood Cir Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1618 (Lands' End)

2100 Southfield Rd Lincoln Park, MI 48146-2250

Minnesota

425 Rice St St Paul, MN 55103-2123

12431 Wayzata Blvd Minnetonka, MN 55305-1925 (Lands' End)

Nevada

1245 W Warm Springs Rd Henderson, NV 89014-8740

New Hampshire

50 Fox Run Rd Ste 74 Portsmouth, NH 03801-2858 (Lands' End)

New Jersey

1500 Highway 35 Middletown, NJ 07748-1831 (Lands' End)

1750 Deptford Center Rd Deptford, NJ 08096-5282 (Lands' End)

New Mexico

6600 Menaul Blvd Ne Ste 700 Coronado, NM 87110-3447

New York

75 W Route 59 Ste 100 Nanuet, NY 10954-2701 (Lands' End)

1111 Franklin Ave Garden City, NY 11530-1617  (Lands' End)

600 Lee Blvd Yorktown Hts, NY 10598-1142

Rt 394 & Hunt Blvd Lakewood, NY 14750

North Carolina

703 N Berkeley Blvd Goldsboro, NC 27534-3444

400 Cross Creek Mall Fayetteville, NC 28303-7244

11033 Carolina Place Pkwy Pineville, NC 28134-8370 (Lands' End)

Ohio

5320 Youngstown Rd Niles, OH 44446

Oklahoma

6929 S Memorial Dr Tulsa Woodland Hls, OK 74133-2035

9800 Sw Washington Square Rd Washington Sq, OR 97223-4455 (Lands' End)

3201 W Main St Norman, OK 73072-4847

Oregon

827 Lancaster Dr Ne Salem (Lancaster), OR 97301-2929

Pennsylvania

880 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15223-1319

5522 Shaffer Rd Ste 129 Dubois, PA 15801-3304

100 Neshaminy Mall Bensalem/ Crnwls Hts, PA 19020-1607

2300 E Lincoln Hwy Langhrn /Oxford Vly, PA 19047-1824 (Lands' End)

Tennessee

7600H Kingston Pike West Town, TN 37919-5604 (Lands' End)

2800 N Germantown Prkway Cordova, TN 38133 (Lands' End Inc.)

2801 Wilma Rudolph Blvd Clarksville, TN 37040-5011

2100 Hamilton Place Blvd Chattanooga, TN 37421-6006

Texas

7508 N Navarro St Victoria, TX 77904-2654

2901 S Capitol Of Texas Hwy Austin/Barton Creek, TX 78746-8101

3450 W Camp Wisdom Rd Southwest Ctr, TX 75237-2504

2501 Irving Mall Irving, TX 75062-5161

6301 Nw Loop 410 Ingram, TX 78238-3824

1000 E 41st Austin, TX 78751-4859

6002 Slide Rd Lubbock, TX 79414-8555

2002 S Expy 83 Harlingen, TX 78552-

2605 Preston Rd Frisco, TX 75034-9434

Virginia

100 Newmarket Fair Mall Hampton, VA 23605-1406

Washington

3500 S Meridian Ste 900 Puyallup, WA 98373-3722

West Virginia

9520 Mall Rd Westover/Morgantown, WV 26501-8524

Wyoming

701 Se Wyoming Blvd Casper, WY 82609-4213

 

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