Sears faces critical deadline, will it survive?

Posted December 29, 2018

The Kmart in Rapid City failed to survive the latest round of Sears Holdings.

Peru's Kmart store at 11 Sherwood Square will be one of 80 Sears and Kmart stores closing in March of next year, Sears Holdings has just announced. The company informed associates at 80 stores nation wide of closing.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert made a $4.6 billion offer to buy the USA retailer earlier this month, which called for about 500 Sears stores to remain open.

Sears Auto Center is set to close late January, while the retail portion is expected to be gone sometime in March.

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Earlier this month, Lampert, who has controlled Sears for more than a decade, made a preliminary bid that included hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners. They have also taken aim at his efforts to fund $1.8 billion of his bid by forgiving Sears debt owed to him, through a so-called credit bid.

Sears will also close its store in Oconomowoc.

But as Lampert stares down a deadline of December 28 to submit his offer, he has neither submitted his bid, nor rounded up financing, said the people familiar with the situation.

Meanwhile, the deadline is today for bids to buy the 125-year-old icon.

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Representatives for Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and for Bank of America declined to comment.

As Sears faces liquidation, Chairman Eddie Lambert is expected to file a $4.6 million proposal to save the company in the last minutes of Friday's bidding deadline.

But the onset of discounters like Walmart created challenges for Sears that have only grown and it faced even more competition from online sellers and appliance retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot. If he cannot complete the bid, Sears could try to push back the deadline or go ahead with creditors' demands to begin shutting down the business.

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