- Robyn Turk |
American department store chain Sears, called the “Amazon of the 1930s” by CNBC, is struggling to stay afloat in today’s retail landscape. The company’s stock dropped by 32 percent this week, now just worth 59 cents per share. Ten years ago, shares of Sears traded for up to 144 dollars. CNBC reported that Sears is now preparing to file for bankruptcy by contacting several banks to arrange proper financing.
Sears has been in business for 125 years, originally opening as a mail-order catalogue before opening brick and mortar retail sites in 1925. The retailer has been struggling for several years; after buying Kmart in 2005, Sears has closed hundreds of stores and selling assets to pay off debts. Sears’ current debt amounts to 134 million dollars, and has previously stated that it might not be able to pay this off.
Prior to bankruptcy speculations, Sears had already been planning to close at least seven Sears locations and five Kmart stores before the holiday season this year, with layoffs expected to begin just two days before Christmas. Sears is down to 866 retail locations at the moment, down from 1,980 just five years ago.
Sears has not experienced a profitable year since 2010 and has lost over 11 billion dollars in cumulative losses since 2011. Its annual sales have dropped by almost 60 percent.