END OF AN ERA

Sears Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Sears—one of the biggest names in the history of American retailing—has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, marking its imminent collapse. The company said it would close at least 142 stores by the end of the year, in addition to 46 stores that are expected to close by next month, with liquidation sales expected to begin shortly. However, the company reached a deal with its lenders that will allow it to keep hundreds of stores open. Controlling shareholder Edward Lampert stepped down as CEO, but will remain chairman. The firm filed for bankruptcy petition after it reportedly couldn’t meet a $134 million debt payment that was due today—it’s grappling with a total debt load of more than $5 billion.