Well, the day has come, folks (I feel like people who still shop at Sears say “folks” a lot.) You may have heard about Sears closing dozens more locations, but today, Yahoo! Finance reports that the famed chain of department stores has finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This won’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who has followed the struggling business for a while; it hasn’t been profitable since 2011.
While there are a number of factors that could be said to have played a role in Sears’s demise – their slow adaptation to online sales and low (or nonexistent) popularity among Generation Z – some commentators have argued that a large part of the blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the company’s former CEO, Edward Lampert. Uncle Eddie, as we used to like calling him when I worked at Sears, stepped down from that position after the filing.
So, does this mean the retailer is gone for good? Maybe not. In its bankruptcy filing, the company suggested a new plan, which would involve Sears closing more locations but ultimately restructuring itself “around a smaller footprint of profitable stores.” It’s hard to say whether or not that will actually happen. Although pensioners will be safe, with that responsibility likely to be taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, it’s probable that most current employees will soon be job hunting.
Sears stock peaked in 2007 when it was worth a sweet $144 per share. On September 28 of this year, the price fell to less than $1 and has stayed that way since.