Sears future uncertain after coming close to liquidation

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Sears is facing an uncertain future as it prepared to liquidate earlier today.

If they are liquidated, you're not going to see Sears anymore.

It would be the end of an era, but it looks like Sears has one more shot before throwing in the towel.

Back in the day, if you heard the name Sears Roebuk, you would picture a monumental business empire with nowhere to look but up.

"Maybe 30-40 years ago, and so on, it was to be the biggest company in the- the government at the time was worried that they were going to become a monopoly," Indiana University South Bend Assistant Economics Professor Klajdi Bregu said.

But, like many empires, a fall is all part of the life cycle. Sears saw that Tuesday when they faced liquidation and bankruptcy which Bregu says is a result of being stuck in their glory years.

"In the business world, you need to adjust to the changing world," Bregu said. "You cannot keep doing the same thing for a long time, because people change and what people want changes."

Things like Amazon have dominated the market, putting physical stores to shame. That results in bankruptcy for companies who don't keep up, but Bregu says that's not a bad thing. That gives room for new businesses and local growth.

"All that is happening is simply the market working, which means consumers and producers coming together and saying well, consumers saying in this case, 'We don't want your product anymore.' So we have to stop doing it," Bregu said. "If nobody wants it, then we shouldn't keep doing it."

Just before Sears told the judge they were going to liquidate, their chairman is being given one last chance to save the company through an auction. If he loses, it's most likely no more Sears, but if he wins, there's still hope.

"While the deal seems better now, we do not know for sure," Bregu said. "We have to wait for the details. Things may change once the details are released because the creditors definitely seem that they would challenge this. They might not be happy. They believe it's better for Sears to be liquidated."

That auction is set to happen on January 14th.

At that point, we'll have a better idea if Sears is here to stay, or if another sign could be popping up in the University Park Mall.


Sears is getting another reprieve from liquidation after its chairman and largest shareholder revised his bid to save the iconic brand.

The Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based retailer says it has accepted Eddie Lampert's bid through an affiliate of his ESL hedge fund that could keep 425 stores open and save tens of thousands of workers, according to a hearing on Tuesday at the bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y. The bid now requires Lampert to deposit $120 million by 4 p.m. Wednesday through his hedge fund.

The revised bid is not official, and will be evaluated in an auction set for Jan. 14 that will compete with other bids from liquidators looking to shut it down.