Monday, 15 October 2018

US retail giant Sears files for bankruptcy protection



US retail giant Sears has filed for bankruptcy protection after succumbing to huge debts and losses.
 
The company, which is more than 100 years old, was once America's largest retailer but has been battered by fierce competition and the rise of internet shopping.
 
 
Sears, which still has 886 stores across the US, was left fighting for its life ahead of a key $134m (£102m) debt repayment due at the start of this week.


Court papers showed it had now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a process that allows indebted companies to restructure its debts.


Those plans showed it hoped to close 142 of its stores and had managed to raise $300m from banks to support current trading.


The filing also showed Sears was in negotiations over an additional $300m from a hedge fund owned by Eddie Lampert - the tycoon who remains the biggest investor in Sears and its chairman despite stepping down as CEO.


Sears began life as a mail order catalogue in the 1880s - a pioneering business that has been described as the Amazon of its day.


It came to dominate US malls and at its peak sales were equivalent to 1% of US gross national product. It was overtaken as America's largest retailer by Walmart in 1989.





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