Sears to close almost 150 more stores, files for bankruptcy
15 October, 2018, 20:24 | Author: Brooke Harris
Lampert's efforts to keep Sears out of bankruptcy have included shedding hundreds of unprofitable stores.
It's been a rough year for large brick-and-mortar stores, with Toys "R" Us failing to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings and closing all its stores. Much of his focus has turned to Sears' online presence over upkeep on physical storefronts, many of which total thousands of square feet.
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The company once dominated the American landscape, but whether a smaller Sears can be viable remains in question. It is unclear how the closures would impact Sears' nearly 70,000 employees. In April and August, ESL presented proposals to acquire certain Sears assets, followed by a broader September plan for real estate transactions and asset sales. Back then, it was a nice place to shop and a good place to work.
Plus, that many closures will put a lot of people out of work. Options could range from food halls to pop-up stores to Tonya-Harding-esq skating rinks, Rosenblum said - so long as the concept was about more than just shopping.
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Store shelves have been left bare as many vendors have demanded more stringent payment terms, says Mark Cohen, a professor of retailing at Columbia University and a former Sears executive. Sears merged with Kmart in 2005.
John Germann, 46, works full-time and makes $14 per hour as the lead worker unloading merchandise from trucks at the Chicago Ridge, Illinois store, which has been drastically reducing its staff since he started nine years ago. "We're lifting treadmills and refrigerators". That's the toughest part of this of all, of course; my first job outside of flipping burgers or making pizzas was at the Sears in Cerritos, California, where I worked for about eighteen months.
But for the struggling malls, Cohen says it will be a "death knell" since it will be harder for them to bring in new tenants.
"The problem in Sears case is that it is a poor retailer", he wrote.
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