By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Sears Holdings announced plans Friday to close 80 more Kmart and Sears stores ahead of a deadline to determine whether the bankrupt company will have to liquidate entirely.
Employees of the affected stores were told Thursday of the impending closures, which are slated for March. Liquidation sales at the stores are expected to begin in the next two weeks.
A list of the soon-to-be-closed stores released by Sears Holdings included locations in more than two dozen states, including Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Georgia.
“This is in addition to the previously announced closure of 40 unprofitable stores expected to be completed in February 2019,” company officials said Friday.
Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October and announced plans to shutter over 100 stores.
Friday’s announcement came on the same day as a deadline for bids on the company’s assets, WBBM-TV reported. Sears Holdings was seeking a buyer for hundreds of stores and the Kenmore appliance brand, according to the news station.
Earlier this month, Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert and his ESL Holdings hedge fund offered to buy the rest of Sears for as much as $4.6 billion in cash and stock in an attempt to keep the company from having to liquidate, The Associated Press reported.
Sears Holdings operated 4,000 Sears and Kmart stores as recently as 2012, according to the AP. After factoring in the planned closures announced Friday, Sears would have about 500 functioning locations left.