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Sears, the once-dominant retail chain that changed how Americans shopped and lived, has filed for bankruptcy.

The 132-year-old company has been struggling for several years and is drowning in debt. The final straw was a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it could not afford.



Sears’ parent company, which owns Sears and Kmart, is among dozens of prominent retailers to declare bankruptcy in the era of Amazon.

The filing in federal bankruptcy court in New York came just after midnight early hours of Monday. The company issued a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping stores which are profitable open, along with the Sears and Kmart online shopping sites. But it said it looking for a buyer for a large number of its remaining stores and that it will close at least an additional 142 stores near the end of this year, in addition to the 46 store closing already planned for next month.

Sears has been caught under the weight of its massive debt load and dwindling cash reserves. Over the decade, Sears sold many of its most valuable real estate and other assets to raise the cash it needs to survive.

Sears was once the nation’s largest retailer and its largest employer. In its heyday it was both the Walmart and Amazon of its time.

Formed in 1886 by railroad station agent Richard Sears, the company started as a watch business in North Redwood, Minnesota. Sears moved to Chicago in 1887, and he hired watchmaker Alvah Roebuck as his partner.

 

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    Helge · 16:02 10/20/2018
    Sears had a great catalog, but failed to see the coming Web opportunity, so stayed with their brick-and-mortar model and got on line too late, and lost. Also, people used to swear by Kenmore appliances (many made by Whirlpool), but now they just swear AT them, because of the China factor. As with Montgomery Ward, Penney's, etc., the retail behemoths lost the personal customer-service orientation of their founders (as seen in the checkout-line thing). Until or unless that's regained, many will lose out to automated behemoths such as Amazon.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    John Robert Mallernee · 10:35 10/15/2018
    When I was a kid growing up, I remember our family sometimes shopped at the Sears & Roebuck, J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, and Western Auto stores, and Mama would order stuff from the Spiegel catalog.

    Since Daddy was in the United States Army, we also occasionally shopped on Post at the PX (i.e., "Post Exchange"), and we bought our groceries at the Commissary.

    Today, as an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army (9 years active duty, 2 years combat), I'm authorized to purchase items from the PX web site, and they've even given me a line of credit far in excess of my income!

    But, they don't have anything I want.

    Being a shut-in invalid, I now purchase everything from Amazon or Wal-Mart, having my purchases delivered to my apartment.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Why Sears Tanking · 09:21 10/15/2018
    Sears has been effectively shuttered for years. Oh, we have a Sears in our local Mall, but try to find a worker ANYWHERE in the store to checkout...they simply aren't around. From our experiences, Sears is tanking because though there are buying customers, there are NOT cashiers. After this happened about 10 times over several years, we just finally decided that we would never 'shop' at Sears again...because all that one can really do is 'browse'.

    Wake up Sears, no business can survive off of browsers. Hire cashiers to process payments and you likely would have a robust business. Customer service remains the foundation of ANY business. Sears' business model of having merchandise but no cashiers simply is doomed for failure, hence they filed for bankruptcy.

    I'll bet that the corporate leaders have voted to give themselves bonuses for all of these years, though.
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Sammy · 14:05 10/15/2018
      This is very true and if there is a cashier the line is 25 deep.Sad because they had some good stuff.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Onno · 08:36 10/15/2018
    So it goes, corresponding with governments that have become (psycho)pathocracies:

    -----------------
    Unfortunately the government will only become more pathological in its behavior and egotistical toward other nations until the deviant psychological aspects are either purged or destroy themselves.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Jill Hart · 08:26 10/15/2018
    Rather indicative of the us economy as a whole
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