Two local Sears stores to close

Sears has 24 hours to be saved

The 125-year-old company, which filed for bankruptcy in October, urgently needs to find a buyer for about 500 of its stores and the Kenmore appliance brand.

Sears is not alone as J.C. Penney is feeling the pressure with its shares dipping below $1 for the first time on Wednesday, according to the news outlet. "ESL is the only party offering to buy Sears as a whole, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC".

However, as of Thursday afternoon, Lampert had not submitted his bid for failure to raise the cash, insiders say.

Terming any rescue effort as "akin to raising the Titanic and making it seaworthy again", NY retail industry analyst Neil Saunders on Friday said: "The lack of bids and the difficulties Eddie Lampert is having in raising financing for his own offer reflects the fact that Sears is essentially worthless". At that time, ESL could participate in the auction against liquidation bidders on January 14. Kmart and Sears announced its merger in 2004. As part of its bankruptcy deal, the once iconic retail chain said it would close more than 170 of its 700 stores by the end of the year.

Sears is closing 80 more stores, including two in IL, as it nears a deadline that could determine whether the bankrupt retailer lands a lifeline to save its business or is forced to begin shutting down.

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The Sears chairman and ESL founder own just under half of the Hoffman Estates, Illinois, company, according to FactSet. The Columbus store is not on the Sears Holdings list of those to be closed.

Now comes the announcement of 80 more stores on the chopping block.

It also meant keeping Sears alive through complex investments from ESL.

As of the bankruptcy filing, the company employed about 68,000 people.

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