- Rumors of bankruptcy protection are circling the iconic American retailer.
- Just days before Sears’ $134 million debt repayment deadline, it sought assistance from a financial advisory group.
- Bargain shoppers can look to Sears retail stores and its website to score merchandise deals in advance of holiday shopping.
Another iconic American retailer is predicted to file bankruptcy protection as soon as mid-October.
In recent years, Sears, which also owns Kmart, has displayed all of the telltale signs of a cash-strapped retailer in peril: record low stock prices, layoffs, store closures and certain stores in structural decay.
Click to see the retailers that closed the most stores in the last year.
As if that wasn’t enough for the troubled retailer to contend with, the company has a looming debt repayment of $134 million due on Oct. 15, as reported by CNN. In preparation, the company has reportedly hired M-III Partners to assist with the filing.
All of this comes right before the holiday shopping season, during which the retailer has historically seen its highest cash injection.
Sears CEO Blames Amazon and Low Sales
Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has been a fixture at the helm for more than a decade. Lampert has been quick to peg the company’s shortcomings on changing consumer preferences and the rise of e-commerce. The former Wall Street-guru-turned-CEO has been dipping into his hedge fund, ESL Investments, as a last-ditch effort to cauterize the wounds.
Sears is just another retailer to fall amid the rise of e-commerce, namely Amazon, but it’s likely that Sears contributed to the demise of Sears. As Sears has struggled to keep up in the digital marketplace, a series of decisions at the hand of Lampert haven’t done the company — now more than a century old — any favors.
Under Lampert’s leadership, Sears locations around the country have been closed or in-store sales associates have been cut to the bare minimum in an effort to conserve costs. Meanwhile, when rival retailers like JCPenney were met with sagging sales and foot traffic, the company decided to diversify its product line to include more baby products in the absence of Toys R Us and Babies R Us.
Sears Liquidation Sales Start in November
Shoppers looking to snag holiday deals on Sears’ inventory are in luck. The company has announced plans to hold liquidation sales for certain stores, and the next wave of store closures will begin next month, according to a company statement. Independent of store closures, online shoppers can score deals like deeply discounted fitness equipment and kitchen appliances.
More on Businesses