Business

Sears to close 80 more stores, including Sioux City

Bankruptcy deadline nears

Sears Holdings said Friday it will close 80 more stores as it nears a deadline that could determine whether the bankrupt retailer grabs a lifeline to save its business or is forced to begin shutting down.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings said it notified workers at the closing Sears and Kmarts on Thursday.

It has no stores left in the Corridor. Only its Sioux City Sears venue was on the list of announced closings in Iowa.

The move leaves 17 Sears and Kmart stores operating in Iowa.

Sears already had revealed plans to shutter 182 stores after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

The latest round of 80 more stores will close in March and liquidation sales are expected to begin in two weeks, Sears said.

News of the closures came hours ahead of a deadline for parties interested in acquiring the retailer’s assets to submit bids, according to a timeline approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

Earlier this month, the hedge fund run by Sears Chairman Edward Lampert said it would offer about $4.6 billion for many of the retailer’s remaining assets, including about 500 Sears and Kmart stores and its well-known Kenmore and DieHard brands.

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That proposal would keep Sears in business and preserve “tens of thousands of jobs,” Lampert’s hedge fund said in a letter to Sears’ investment banker earlier this month.

But as of midday Friday, ESL had yet to make its offer official.

Sears gets Bankruptcy Court approval for up to $25.3 million in bonuses to top employees.

At the time of its bankruptcy filing, Sears said it had 687 stores and 68,000 employees, 32,000 of whom are full-time.

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