Sears files for bankruptcy as CEO steps down

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Sears stock is down 89 percent year-to-date. Some like Payless ShoeSource have had success emerging from reorganization in bankruptcy court but plenty of others haven't, like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton Stores Inc. In a statement Monday, Whirlpool said it does not anticipate Sears' bankruptcy filing to have any impact on its full-year 2018 EPS guidance or financial results over the long term.

A trio of the company's top executives will now run the company.

The stock price was 41 cents a share in pre-market trading Monday morning - up from Friday's closing price of 34 cents. But any movement toward bankruptcy seemed to gain momentum last week with reports that Sears had hired New-York based M-III Partners to prepare the filing. Lampert bought Sears in 2004 and merged it with Kmart, in which he had a controlling stake, the next year. Sears opened its first store in 1925 in Chicago, and the Sears Tower in that city, now known as the Willis Tower, was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1973.

The company once dominated the American landscape, but whether a smaller Sears can be viable remains in question.

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The company was started by Richard Sears, a train station agent in Minnesota who began selling watches by mail in 1886, according to the company's website. Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s iconic catalog featured items from bicycles to sewing machines to houses, and could generate excitement throughout a household when it arrived. But the onset of discounters like Walmart created challenges for Sears that have only grown.

Lampert is using his hedge fund to purchase the Kenmore brand from Sears. Its stores became an albatross.

Real estate experts believe that Sears' move to further shutter stores as part of its restructuring would be a mixed blessing for landlords. Closing 142 stores leaves a very large hole in the economies of the malls where they exist. The holding company has closed almost 3,000 Sears and K-Mart locations over the past decade and are now down to fewer than 1,000 retail locations. The victims are the thousands of people who lost their jobs.

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