Fostoria's Kmart closing in March

Sears Holdings announced plans to close 80 more stores by March 1. | AP file

It then said it would shutter 142 unprofitable stores in the hopes that it could stay in business. The stores are expected to close by March; with liquidation sales starting in January.

The charges entail markdowns, severance costs and lease termination costs arising from store closures, which the company announced in October, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., also didn't respond to messages. The plan includes keeping 425 stores open and a $1.3 billion financing commitment, the statement said.

On the new list of stores to close are the Sears location at Westshore Plaza and the store at 9409 US 19 in Port Richey, as well as the Kmart store on Highway 301 in Ellenton.

Sears officials have blamed a variety of factors, including competition from online vendors and a change in consumer buying habits. It faces a self-imposed deadline of 4 p.m. Friday for bids. The company says this is part of a transformation and financial restructuring.

Some Sears creditors, including landlords and vendors, believe shutting down the company is the best way to retrieve the greatest portion of the money Sears owes them.

Friday's announcement came among reports that Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, might be near liquidation as a key court deadline came without any expected bids for the firm's assets.

The retailer, for years called Sears, Roebuck & Co. and famous for its massive catalog, boomed in the decades after World War II along with a growing middle class. Sears' corporate headquarters was not answering further questions, either.

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