Sears asked a bankruptcy judge to approve a planned liquidation as the struggling retailer rejected former CEO Edward Lampert $4.6 Billion deal to save the company. First reported on CNBC, negotiations broke down late last week as the deal fell short and neither side was willing to make concessions. As the morning progressed, the judge decided Sears wasn't done yet, The jugde gave Edward Lampert a second chance to revise his bid for the retailer.
The once storied retailer has survived for 126 years, first starting as Sears, Roebuck, and Co. The announcement comes after former CEO and current chairman Edward Lampert's $4.6 billion bid to purchase Sears and maintain a majority of the stores, was rejected by the board. A formal announcement of the liquidation was expected this morning. Lampert has until January 14th to either sweeten his deal for the retailer or convince the board why his deal is better than liquidation.
Sears has a location at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester, a Kmart store in nearby Vernon is already liquidating. The Kmart store’s closure was announced last week; with liquidation beginning on Friday. Sears originally opened their Manchester store at the Parkade on Broad Street; this store later was expanded, then moved to its current location. The former home of Sears at the Parkade was razed and is now home to Stop & Shop.
The Sears in Manchester, along with the now-closing Vernon Kmart, were listed on the 'Go Forward' stores, these stores were to be part of the smaller version of Sears that would manifest post-bankruptcy. Edward Lampert was planning to purchase these stores and continue to operate them, but total liquidation was deemed more profitable to pay down existing debts.
Sears was started in 1892 as a thriving catalog business, selling everything from clothing to houses, the business expanded into brick and mortar stores in 1925. Kmart merged with Sears in 2005 (just three years after Kmart's bankruptcy) creating an unusual hybrid model of discount stores and department stores. Sears filed for bankruptcy protection on October 16, 2018.
Jean-Luc has written articles for the past year about Manchester Business.