After 125 Years, Sears Has Just Hours To Avoid 'Liquidation'

After 125 Years, Sears Has Just Hours To Avoid 'Liquidation'

The Sears Auto Centers at these stores will also close.

The release said the employees of the 80 stores have been informed of the closure.

Under hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, Sears has bought time by spinning off stores and putting on the block the brands that had grown synonymous with the company, such as Craftsman. There are smaller Sears Hometown stores in many Minnesota communities.

As the deadline looms for Lampert to submit his offer, Sears advisors only have until January 4, to make the decision on whether he is a "qualified bidder". As part of its bankruptcy deal, the once iconic retail chain said it would close more than 170 of its 700 stores by the end of the year. The closure of another 40 stores was announced in November. But the department store industry has struggled over the past half-decade, as the mall has become less convenient and apparel more casual.

Sears filed for bankruptcy in October.

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- Sears announced it would close an additional 80 stores, including three in the Bay Area, as it teeters on the brink of liquidation.

Lampert, though, hasn't submitted a bid or come up with financing as of Thursday afternoon, the people said.

Representatives for Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, and for Bank of America declined to comment. Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., also didn't respond to messages.

Sears has told a bankruptcy court it has received several bids.

Some creditors he asked to support his offer have called his efforts to keep Sears alive a "foolhardy gamble with other people's money", according to court filings.

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