Offbeat: What Sears shoppers should do if the company files for bankruptcy - PressFrom - US
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Offbeat What Sears shoppers should do if the company files for bankruptcy

17:05  11 october  2018
17:05  11 october  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Lampert explores bid for Sears' assets in bankruptcy, sources say

  Lampert explores bid for Sears' assets in bankruptcy, sources say Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is exploring a bid for some of the cash-strapped U.S. retailer's businesses and real estate once it files for bankruptcy as an alternative to a traditional court-supervised reorganization, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.Under this scenario, the 125-year-old department store operator, once the world's largest retailer, would initially avoid an outright liquidation, but would have to navigate the bankruptcy process without some of its key assets.

Sears is in trouble: What shoppers should do as the company files for bankruptcy . Sears has been flailing for years, and now the company has filed for bankruptcy Before filing for bankruptcy on Monday morning, Sears had announced that 46 of its underperforming stores are closing in November.

Sears is in trouble: What shoppers should do now with the bankruptcy filing . Sears has been flailing for years, and now the company has filed for Now, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday morning. But just because Sears Holdings Corp is in trouble doesn't mean

For years, there have been reports of Sears death spiraling toward the corporate graveyard alongside other popular brick-and-mortar retailers.

The company, once one of the great brands of America, has managed to stay afloat in recent years by borrowing cash from its CEO and selling off desirable assets such as real-estate and brands.

Now, reports say Sears is working with advisers to prepare to possibly file for bankruptcy, as soon as this week. But just because Sears Holdings Corp. might be in trouble doesn't mean consumers have to be.

A key uncertainty could keep shoppers from Sears' clearance sales

  A key uncertainty could keep shoppers from Sears' clearance sales Sears has long been known as one of the leading appliances sellers in the United States, and many of those products are sold with warranties. Despite its past woes, Sears has maintained that it will honor its warranties.While holiday sales are a good time to clear out inventory, at least one analyst says that some customers might be turned off by the uncertainty around the retailer's warranties.

Sears , once the nation's largest retailer, has been on the ropes for years, struggling to remain relevant amid a shopping landscape transformed by the rise of e-commerce competitors such as Amazon More Money: Sears is in trouble: What shoppers should do if the company files for bankruptcy .

Sears , the one-time titan of American retail, filed for bankruptcy ahead of a 4 million debt payment due Monday Customers should expect loyalty programs to continue uninterrupted. Those include Sears Home Services and the company 's flagship Kenmore brand, which Lampert offered to buy in

In the wake of all that's happening, here's what Sears shoppers should know:

Question: Will my local store close?

Answer: Possibly.

So far, Sears has announced that 46 of its underperforming stores are closing in November. The plan involves shutting down 13 Kmart locations and 33 Sears stores in several states.

Q: Can I still use my gift card?

A: Yes, at least for now. But experts suggest that you put them to use ASAP.

"In general, people shouldn’t hold on to gift cards," said Katherine Hutt, director of  communications for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "They should go and spend them as soon as they can, regardless of the status of the company."

Q: What's the best time to shop for deep discounts?

A: Now, maybe.

"When retailers close stores, they are likely to have some sales. You have to be careful though. Yes, some items are going to be deeply discounted, but it is also likely they will be marked 'no return,' " Hutt said.

Sears stock dives 30 percent on news of bankruptcy preparations

  Sears stock dives 30 percent on news of bankruptcy preparations Sears' stock lost nearly a third of its value in morning trading Wednesday after a report said that the beleaguered retailer had hired advisers to prepare for a bankruptcy filing ahead of a debt payment deadline.Shares of Sears, an iconic American retail brand which traded above $100 a decade ago but have fallen to less than $1 in the past year, were down 30 percent.

Early Monday morning, Sears announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy -- which would The company said it will continue payments of employee wages and benefits, honor member answering “What is Sears ?” for shoppers , vendors and investors wondering why the former icon should survive.

Sears Holdings - which also owns Kmart - filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. The company has suffered, along with many other The company employs nearly 90,000 people in the US, although that is down from 246,000 five years ago, and in its heyday it had more than 3,000 stores.

There may not be a store to return to.

Q: I purchased an extended warranty. Will Sears still honor it?

A: Until the point at which a company files for bankruptcy, warranties and return policies will likely be “business as usual,” Hutt said.

However, when Sears closed down its Canada stores last year, the retailer stopped honoring extended warranties. "After October 18, Sears will no longer be in a position to honour Sears Protection Agreements to customers," the chain said in a 2017 release.

Refunds on protection agreements were only allowed if purchased within 30 days of the company's liquidation announcement.

The good news is that some other companies stepped in to honor the agreements and perform repairs at no cost to customers. But that's no guarantee.

Q: Will the return policy change?

A: It shouldn't change immediately, according to the BBB.

Q: What about layaway?

A: “If you have anything on layaway, you should go get it and pay it off. If you were planning to buy anything to match something you already have, you should get that as quickly as possible," Hutt said.

Q: How do I leave a complaint?

A: Sears has been a BBB-accredited business since 1966, so the company is required to handle complaints up until it files for bankruptcy. "Closing a business doesn't relieve the owner of that responsibility," according to the BBB website.

If you would like more information, contact your local Better Business Bureau.

Plan for a smaller Sears begins to emerge in bankruptcy court .
Sears has proposed having its Chapter 11 reorganization plan filed by late December and confirmed in March 2019. One critical date is Nov. 15, when it plans to make a decision about its so-called "bubble stores" that are being reviewed to see if the lease terms can be renegotiated and if ways can be found to make them profitable.More: Once nation's top retailer, Sears files for bankruptcy. A timeline of its rise and fall.

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