All Sears and Kmart Stores in Maine Set to Close as Company Seeks Liquidation
UPDATE 2:20 pm: While Sears seemed on the verge of liquidation, a last-minute chance was given to Edward Lampert to "come up with a feasible offer to keep a shrunken version of the company alive, bankruptcy attorney Ray Schrock told a federal judge Tuesday," according to USA Today.
USA Today states that if Lampert "can't come up with a $120 million deposit and new deal terms by 4 p.m. Wednesday, liquidators will probably prevail and the company will likely go out of business."
After fighting a bankruptcy battle for a lengthy amount of time, it appears one of the most iconic retailers in Maine can fight no more. Sears Holdings Corp., which is the parent company of Sears and Kmart, is on a path to begin liquidation after a bid from Sears Chairman Edward Lampert was rejected, according to CNBC.
What that means for Maine is that all Sears and Kmart stores will begin closing their doors for good, if a bankruptcy judge approves the liquidation, according to Business Insider.
Sears plans to announce liquidation Tuesday, CNBC states.
Despite signs seemingly pointing to liquidation, Reuters does state that there is still a possibility the Sears chairman could improve his bid:
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York, who is presiding over the case, could decide to give Lampert more time to improve his bid, the sources said. A bankruptcy auction for Sears’ assets is not due until Jan. 14.
As Sears sales have shrunk in recent years, some Sears stores in Maine have already closed. Sears has 6 current locations in Maine, ranging from South Portland all the way to Caribou. Kmart's Maine locations are in Auburn, Augusta, Waterville and Madawaska. All are likely to close.
Beyond losing an iconic retailer and stores that some people depend on, the bankruptcy failing leaves employees in a difficult situation. Nationwide, Sears employs more than 50,000 people. For employees in some of the more remote locations where Sears and Kmart operate, the news of closures is likely to be devastating.
Sears was once the preeminent retail store in America. But Walmart and eventually Target began to challenge Sears dominance. In recent years, Amazon's increased popularity all but destroyed Sears ability to survive in the changing marketplace.
There was no timetable offered up by Sears or Kmart on when stores will begin liquidation and closing procedures.