Sears files for bankruptcy; will close another 142 stores

One of Sears' major shareholders just dumped a chunk of his stock for pennies on his original investment

Its debt to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, a US government agency overseeing the retirement benefits of former Sears workers, was not disclosed in the bankruptcy filing.

By closing the under-performing stores, Sears anticipates cost savings as well as more than $40 million in cash. The company has said it's the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls a year.

The company been drowning in debt exceeding $5 billion and reportedly could not make a $134 million payment that had been due on Monday. It's been obviously improperly run for many years, and it's a shame'.

Two Sears stores in the Denver metro area are among the 142 Sears and Kmart locations that will close after the company filed for bankruptcy on Monday. The company's stock quickly fell below $1 a share for the first time in its history.

Frigidaire, part of Swedish-owned Electrolux, sells kitchen appliances under the Kenmore brand at Sears, U.S. spokeswoman Eloise Hale said Monday.

But it has struggled to reinvent itself in the face of online competition from companies such as Inc, as well as other brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart Inc.

The company said it is pursuing "all alternatives" for its La Senza brand as it looks to focus on its larger core businesses. The bankruptcy court must greenlight this financing.

The company was started by Richard Sears, a train station agent in Minnesota who began selling watches by mail in 1886, according to the company's website.

At its peak, the operator of Sears and Kmart had around 4,000 stores, but it will now be left with a little more than 500, according to the Associated Press.

Sears and Kmart merged to form Sears Holdings in 2005, when they had 3,500 USA stores between them.

Sears dates back to the late 1880s. It evolved into Sears, Roebuck and Co. and launched a successful catalog.

In the 1890s, the Sears catalog "completely changed American life", said Hancock, offering consumers exotic items they had seen at the World's Fair or had read about, like cream separators and Singer sewing machines. Today, refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances are sold under the name.

Sears' stores helped reshape America, drawing shoppers away from the traditional Main Street merchants. "We're still here", said Bill Becker, owner of Jasper's Sears Hometown store.

Lambert purchased his stake in Sears in 2005, combining it with his stake in Kmart. Up until the Great Depression era, the company had no physical stores and relied heavily on farmers as its primary customer base.

Stanley acquired the Craftsman tool brand in March 2017 for almost $900 million to be paid over three years.