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Amarillo Sears store closing in March: Retailer to close an additional 80 locations


Amarillo's Sears location in Westgate Mall is one of 80 more stores across the U.S. in March.

The department store operator told employees Thursday that it plans to shut another round of Kmart and Sears stores next year, in addition to those that are already in the process of going dark. When Sears filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15, it was still operating a little under 700 stores. At that time, the company said it would close 142 unprofitable stores. In November, it announced the closure of 40 additional stores.

Sears told workers this week that it expects to begin liquidation sales at the 80 stores in two weeks. The accompanying Sears Auto Centers will also be shut.

Altogether, Sears has announced plans to close more than 260 of its 700 or so stores — or more than a third of its locations — since filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Sears won a reprieve from liquidating Friday after its chairman, Eddie Lampert, submitted a bid in an effort to buy the retailer and keep it alive. Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments put forward his tentative proposal for Sears earlier this month with his formal submission due today.

The company filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15. At that time it said it would close 142 unprofitable stores, then in November it announced the closure of 40 additional stores. On Friday, it disclosed plans to close 80 more stores, bringing the total closures to more than 260, or more than a third of its 700 or so stores. The 125-year-old company has more than 68,000 employees.

Once the nation’s biggest retailer, it was also its first “everything store,” stocking everything from jewelry to clothing, from hardware to prefabricated homes. But the department store industry has struggled over the past half-decade, as the mall has become less convenient and apparel more casual. Rival J.C. Penney has also felt the pressure; on Wednesday its shares dipped below $1 for the first time.

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