Second Chance for Sears
There’s arguably no major retailer that’s felt the harsh realities of the ecommerce age more than Sears. If you recall, the go-to shopping destination for new dad jeans filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15 last year. Dads everywhere lamented losing their one-stop shop for tires, table saws, and slacks…but recent news is keeping hope alive.
CNBC reports that a bankruptcy judge is giving the retailer a second chance. Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert is being offered the opportunity to buy the department store chain out of bankruptcy and save roughly 50,000 jobs. Still, Sears fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too fast because there’s a lot of legalese around this.
On Tuesday Sears had planned to tell the court it had rejected Lampert’s $4.4 billion offer to buy the retailer. However, Lampert fought the decision, highlighting the millions in fees that Sears’ bankruptcy advisors racked up. Sears’ bankruptcy lawyers, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, plan to charge customary hourly rates of $1,075 to $1,600 for work done by its partners and counsel, according to documents filed with the bankruptcy court.
Ultimately, the judge ruled to give Lampert and the 126-year-old retail icon one last chance. Lampert’s hedge fund is now required to pay a $120 million deposit by 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. Sears will then allow Lampert to participate in a previously scheduled auction on Monday. If for some reason you’d like to hear more about the specifics, you can check it out on CNBC here.
Currently there are only a few hundred Sears and Kmart stores still open, so it remains to be seen what strategy Lampert will employ for the remaining locations. One expects that the chain will need to continue growing its presence online as to not become completely irrelevant among the likes of Walmart, Target and Amazon.