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Sears files for bankruptcy

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/15/18, 03:21 pm

Once America’s retail giant, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after 132 years in business. The company plans to close 142 of its 700-plus remaining stores and lay off thousands of workers. Founded as a watch store, Sears blossomed into the Amazon of the early 1900s as a mail-order business. “What Sears did was make big-city merchandise available to people in small towns,” economist and author Marc Levinson said. The retailer at one time sold everything from build-your-own-house kits to grave markers. But after the advent of Amazon—and Target and Walmart—Sears couldn’t keep up. In its bankruptcy filing, it listed assets of $1 billion to $10 billion and liabilities of $10 billion to $50 billion. Though it has a plan to restructure and stay afloat, most analysts didn’t have much hope for the future of the retailer. “In our view, too much rot has set in at Sears to make it [a] viable business,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said in a note to investors.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Tue, 10/16/2018 04:11 pm

    Those of us who are older remember Sears & Roebuck catalogs, especially the Christmas toy catalogues we kids would thumb through for hours. I remember reading an article that said something to the effect that Montgomery Ward (a Sears rival) said in the late 1930's that it had its business methodology down pat and would never change how it did business. The only change was that it went out of business.
    My father-in-law bought almost everything he needed or wanted from Sears. He felt the products were good and the store would stand behind their merchandise.