Attention Kmart customers: Better shop now because this local store is closing

The 125-year-old business, which held the crown of the world's largest retailer in the Sixties, plans to close 142 of its 700 stores after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

The company announced that store closing sales would begin at the selected locations within two weeks in an effort to liquidate inventory.

The retailer said that it would close 142 Sears and Kmart stores across the country, locations it considers among its worst performing.

In March, Toys R Us announced it was shuttering all of its United States stores while other big names such as Macy's and JC Penney have also been forced to close numerous locations and lay off workers. Until they come up with a reason to exist in the marketplace, Sears won't last for much longer.

At its peak, the operator of Sears and Kmart had 4,000 stores in 2012 but will now be left with a little more than 500.

The company said it intends to stay in business through stores that are profitable and its online shopping sites, reported CNN. Whirlpool added that 1 percent of its aggregate accounts receivable exposure was tied to Sears, and it had an "immaterial amount" of Sears-related inventory.

With this bankruptcy plan, the company's CEO Eddie Lampert-who bought Sears in 2004-will be replaced by a three-person committee (Lampert will still be chairman of the board).

In recent years, Sears struggled to compete with retailers such as Amazon and Walmart, along with increasing debts.

"Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets", Lampert said.

The fate of Kmart, which Lampert merged with Sears in 2005, and other satellite companies such as the Kenmore appliance brand, is also up in the air.

Whirlpool, which stopped selling its branded products at Sears a year ago, is owed $23.4 million, while Frigidaire is due $18.6 million, according the Monday bankruptcy filing, which lists more than 100,000 creditors.

According to court documents, the Jasper store is one of two Kmarts closing in Indiana.

A bankruptcy certainly feels like a failure, and to the Sears creditors who were expecting a $134 million payment today, it is one.

After more than a century of retail dominance, Sears looks close to collapse.

1886 - Richard Sears starts the R.W. Sears Watch Co.in Minneapolis.

If Sears ends up collapsing, the obituaries will blame Internet competition for undermining the big-box department store model.

In Kenneth City, the greater Tampa areas last Kmart is open on 66th Street N. Its owned by Seritage Growth Properties — a Sears Holdings spin-off created to turn dying Sears and Kmarts into thriving shopping centers. Its shares shot up on Wednesday on the news that Sears was preparing for bankruptcy, even amid a sell-off in the broader market. Other stores will be conducting sales and closing by November 2018.

Real estate experts believe that Sears' move to further shutter stores as part of its restructuring would be a mixed blessing for landlords.

  • Eleanor Harrison