Sears hires JLL to shop hundreds of stores, while weighing takeover bid

Efforts to sell 500 Sears and Kmart locations have drawn interest; Lampert's $4.6B offer still on table

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert and a Sears store (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
Sears CEO Eddie Lampert and a Sears store (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Sears Holdings hired JLL to market about 500 Sears and Kmart stores in the United States, two months after filing for bankruptcy protection. The brokerage is already drawing interest from potential buyers in major markets while Sears still considers a takeover bid from its chairman.

Bids have come in from retailers, mall owners and others interested in potentially adaptive reuses of the stores, sources told Bloomberg.

Strong interest from suitors — which Bloomberg said include Burlington Stores, At Home, Dick’s Sporting Goods and U-Haul — could complicate Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert’s $4.6 billion bid to buy the entire chain and keep it open.

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Sears said it would close another 142 stores around the end of the year. Despite efforts to cut costs by shuttering hundreds of locations, the Chicago-based retailer has lost more than $11 billion since 2011. In the last two years alone, it closed more than 725 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide.

JLL is entertaining proposals for Sears Holdings stores through Dec. 28, and the sale of some of the locations could bolster Lampert’s efforts to avoid a full liquidation of the chain, giving the century-old company money to keep it running during the bankruptcy process. [Bloomberg] — 
John O’Brien