Sears Holding Corp. remained in limbo late Monday as company representatives, creditors and liquidators gathered behind closed doors for an auction that could determine the 126-year-old retailer’s fate.
Sources told WWD the auction was ongoing as of late afternoon.
The company declared bankruptcy in October after a long decline under the watch of former chief executive officer Edward S. Lampert, who is also the company’s largest shareholder and biggest creditor. Lampert has been trying to buy Sears as a going concern, but he has competition at the auction.
Sears is now so weakened that liquidation is a real possibility and the company could decide that selling off everything is the best way for creditors to recoup their investments. That would mean whatever little bits were left of the once-iconic department store, like real estate, company headquarters, distribution locations, Sears Auto Centers and Sear Home Services businesses, the Kenmore appliance and DieHard tool brand, and even store fixtures out of the 425 or so Sears and Kmart stores still in existence, would be sold off. Then Sears would disappear. So would the tens of thousands of jobs that the company once maintained.