END OF AN ERA

Sears Reportedly Preparing for Bankruptcy Filing

After years of fighting to get back to profitability, Sears Holdings is reportedly preparing for a bankruptcy-protection filing as early as this week. Sources cited by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday said the retailer has hired M-III Partners LLC to assist with bankruptcy proceedings. But the company, once America’s biggest name in retail, is still said to be considering other options ahead of a debt-payment deadline on Monday. The loss-posting retailer has warned it may not be able to meet the Oct. 15 deadline to pay its $134 million debt. The company has closed hundreds of stores in recent years and Sears CEO Edward Lampert has fought to keep it afloat by stripping out assets. Lampert has reportedly been pushing for a restructuring plan that would keep the company out of bankruptcy court, but its dismal financial status has so far hindered those efforts.