NEW YORK — Jacobson Stores Inc., still unsure of its future, gave more than half its employees their notice Friday as it moved closer to a liquidation.

A spokesman for the retailer said that the 18 specialty stores in five states continue to operate. He said that 240 employees at the headquarters in Jackson, Mich., were eliminated on Friday. Another 20 individuals in Orlando, Fla., were also let go. Most of those jobs were from merchandising, marketing and technology. The company still has 240 employees on its payroll, many in accounts receivable and payable.

According to Jay Indyke of Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman, counsel to Jacobson’s unsecured creditors committee, bids for the bankrupt company were due Monday. A stalking horse buyer, which would set the auction process in motion, is expected to be named by Thursday. An auction is set for July 24 in a bankruptcy court in Detroit.

As reported, the retailer on June 27 said it was pursuing a dual path in its bankruptcy, a course that allowed it to prepare to liquidate the operation as it solicits bids to sell the company.

A financial source familiar with the solicitations said that there are interested buyers for portions of the Jacobson operation, but not for its entirety as an ongoing business. As reported, proceeds from any sale resulting from successful bids "will not be sufficient to repay unsecured creditors in full."

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