Sears at Towne East one of 80 stores closing nationwide

If liquidators prevail, they'll begin the swift process of selling everything inside the remaining 600 or so stores, and Sears could cease to exist as soon as March or April. This location is one of 80 Sears stores to close across the country.

The company earlier announced the closing of 40 unprofitable stores by February. Lansing's Sears has dodged another round of closings.

The Sears at St. Clair Square is set to close in March, the store's parent company confirmed Friday.

Suffering from falling sales and heavy debt, it planned to close 142 of about 700 stores and cut thousands of jobs.

Sears received a reprieve from liquidation after chairman Edward Lampert made a $4.4 billion bid to buy it at the last minute.

Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Lampert's ESL Investments hedge fund, said it hoped to keep 425 stores open and 50,000 people working.

A Sears spokeswoman declined to comment. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. said it notified workers at the closing Sears and Kmarts, including Sears stores in Fairview Heights and Cherry Valley, on Thursday. "Even with an approved bid, the company is heading for another iceberg and will sink before the winter weather is gone".

US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain, who is hearing the case, has so far allowed Sears to proceed with plans to stay in business.

The company had almost 700 stores at the time of its bankruptcy filing.

Lampert had pledged to restore Sears to its glory days, when it owned the Sears Tower in Chicago, then the world's tallest building, and companies that included a radio station and Allstate insurance. He's shuttered hundreds of money-losing stores, cut more than $1 billion in annual expenses, and spun off units such as Lands' End Inc.

  • Eleanor Harrison