Sears is closing two more Triangle stores

Jeannie Matthews
January 1, 2019

Sears announced Friday that it is closing 80 more stores, including the one on East North Street. Going out of business sales will start within two weeks.

Sears filed for bankruptcy protection on October 15.

The release said the employees of the 80 stores have been informed of the closure.

The Auto Centers at both locations will close in January; the stores will remain open until March.

A hedge fund controlled by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert is offering $4.6 billion.

Lampert's bid is backed in part by $1.3 billion in financing from three different financial institutions, the spokesman for his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., said.

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The Killeen and Waco Sears are expected to close by late March 2019. Without it, he could not make a formal offer for Sears, at least not one a bankruptcy court would accept.

At the time of the filing, it operated about 700 Sears and Kmart stores.

Under Lampert, Sears has bought time by spinning off businesses and putting on the block the brands that had grown synonymous with the company, such as Craftsman. Eric Snyder, bankruptcy expert at law firm Wilk Auslander, said that the agreement would benefit Lampert even more than it would help Sears.

Two Tampa Bay locations - Kmart on Busch Boulevard and Sears at Citrus Town Center - closed this fall, while another handful of locations will close by the end of the year. In November, it announced the closure of 40 additional stores.

Friday's announcement came among reports that Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, might be near liquidation as a key court deadline came without any expected bids for the firm's assets.

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