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MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) — Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses.
Sears once dominated the American retail landscape. But the big question is whether the shrunken version of itself can be viable or will it be forced to go out of business, closing the final chapter for an iconic name that originated more than a century ago.
The company, which also runs Kmart, plans to close 142 of its worst-performing stores near the end of the year. Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin within two weeks, according to Sears’ bankruptcy filing.
In Florida, those stores include:
- 12350 SW 8th St., Miami
- 900 NW 76 Boulevard, Gainesville
- 733 N Highway 231, Panama City
- 1050 S Babcock St., Melbourne
- 3100 SW College Rd., Ste 300, Ocala
- 3800 Us Highway 98 N Ste 500, Lakeland
- 303 Us Hwy 301 Blvd W, Bradenton
- 300 Mary Esther Blvd, Mary Esther
Only 700 Sears and Kmart stores are currently open.
The company, which started out as a mail order catalog in the 1880s, has been on a slow march toward extinction as it lagged far behind its peers and has incurred massive losses over the years.
The operator of Sears and Kmart stores joins a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or liquidated in the last few years amid a fiercely competitive climate.
Some like Payless ShoeSource have had success emerging from reorganization in bankruptcy court but plenty of others haven’t, like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
Both retailers were forced to shutter their operations this year soon after a Chapter 11 filing.
Given its sheer size, Sears’ bankruptcy filing will have wide ripple effects on everything from already ailing landlords to its tens of thousands of workers.
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)