It has been a tumultuous few months for the American Department store Sears. The retailer filed for bankruptcy in late 2018 and has been in talks with many interested parties regarding a potential buy out. Extensive discussions have finally concluded, with the company being sold to Eddie Lampert.
Lampert is a billionaire hedge fund owner and the former CEO of the company, making him an apt fit as the new department store owner. Through the sale, which took place over a three-day deliberation in New York bankruptcy court, Lampert acquired all 223 Sears stores, 202 Kmart stores and the entirety of the company’s remaining assets. The final bill came in at $5.2 billion.
The judge ruled in favour of the sale, citing the community benefits that would arise should the store be able to continue operations as approximately 45,000 jobs would be saved.
Sears had been on a downward trajectory for many years. Revenues fell from $53 billion in 2006 to $16.7 billion in 2018, with no hint of profitability. In it’s prime, there were roughly 3,770 Sears stores in operation, this fell to under 700 in 2018 and then again to 223 since filing for bankruptcy.
The department store may have changed hands, but whether or not these new owners will be able to pull it back from seeming extinction is still to be seen.