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Sears Goes Bankrupt, Mired in Debt and Deserted by Shoppers

  • Lampert steps down, but may provide loans and buy stores
  • U.S. retailer’s Chapter 11 filing includes Kmart operations
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U.S. department store Sears has filed for bankruptcy. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Charles Allen discusses the filing.(Source: Bloomberg)
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Sears Holdings Corp., the 125-year-old retailer that became an icon for generations of American shoppers, filed for bankruptcy, saddled with billions of dollars of debt racked up as it struggled to adjust to the rapid shift toward online consumption.

The company, which employs 68,000 people, filed for Chapter 11 early Monday in White Plains, New York. Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund manager who propped up the retailer for years with lifelines and financial engineering, is stepping down immediately as chief executive officer. At the same time, Lampert’s ESL Investments Inc. is negotiating a financing deal while also discussing buying “a large portion of the company’s store base,” Sears said in a statement.