Analysts have speculated for years that Sears was a sinking ship.
All signs point to a bankruptcy filing in the next few days. Sears' stock has fallen more than 50% in the last five days to around 35 cents a share. One of Sears' major shareholders recently dumped a chunk of his stock for pennies on his original investment. The company added a new director this week who is familiar with bankruptcies and restructuring.
And reports are swirling that the company is talking to advisers and banks in preparation for a bankruptcy filing. "In our view, too much rot has set in at Sears to make it viable business".
Companies that file for bankruptcy typically negotiate a special kind of loan to stay in business while they go through the bankruptcy process.
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.
Early Monday morning, Sears announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - which would allow it to reorganize and possibly reemerge from bankruptcy with some part of the business intact - and received commitments for $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing to carry through the bankruptcy period while it restructures its debt and reorganizes its business. Those store closings are in addition to 46 others that were expected by next month. It could attempt to emerge as a profitable company. 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.
Lampert tried multiple strategies to revive Sears since using the Kmart chain to acquire Sears in 2005, sometimes with his own money. 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. Since past year alone, Sears has closed more than 380 of its 894 stores, down from 2,200 stores in the USA and Canada in 2005.