Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer
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Just two months after filing for bankruptcy, Sears plans to close 80 more stores throughout the United States in March, including one of its Houston-area stores.
The regional store that is closing is at Central Mall in Port Arthur.
Eddie Lampert, the company’s chairman, proposed earlier this month to buy Sears out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments, for $4.6 billion. Lampert has a deadline to submit his offer by 3 p.m. Central on Dec. 28.
If Lampert’s or no other bids are received, Sears could be liquidated.
Calls to Sears corporate office to confirm the closure of the stores, which include its Kmart-branded stores as well, have not been returned.
The embattled department store chain, once the world’s largest, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York on Oct. 15.
To stay afloat, Sears sold most of its top real estate, shuttering nearly 400 stores over the past year alone. Locally, Sears has closed stores at Baybrook Mall, Greenspoint Mall, Memorial City Mall, its longtime location in Midtown, San Jacinto Mall, The Woodlands Mall, West Oaks Mall and Westwood Mall.
LATEST CLOSINGS: The list
Seven Sears stores remain in the Houston area that are not on the current list: Willowbrook Mall, North Shepherd, Deerbrook Mall, Plaza Paseo Mall in Pasadena, Mall of the Mainland in Texas City, and Parkdale Mall in Beaumont.
Sears represents the latest and perhaps the most storied brick-and-mortar retailer to fall victim to the rise of big-box and e-commerce competitors. The 125-year-old company, which survived the Great Depression and two World Wars, joins Toys “R” Us, Gymboree, Payless ShoeSource and rue21 in declaring bankruptcy in recent years.
Sears’ long-rumored bankruptcy filing did not surprise retail analysts. Sears has failed to turn a profit for seven straight years, and has lost more than $24 billion in market value since 2007.