It appears that the end is nigh for embattled retailer Sears.
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has hired advisors to help it prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing as early as this week.
The department-store chain is due to pay back a $143 million debt to a group of lenders next Monday. According to The Journal, Sears’ controversial CEO Eddie Lampert, who has come to the retailer’s rescue in the past with billions of dollars worth of loans through his hedge fund ESL Investments, is not bailing it out this time. However, according to Reuters, Lampert is considering a bid for some of the company’s businesses and real estate once it files for bankruptcy.
American consumers are now lamenting the loss of one of the country’s most famous retailers, which at one point was the world’s largest. Sears was widely considered to be an early innovator of the shopping landscape.
“There was a time when Sears was the Amazon of its day. Remarkably innovative, daring, diverse in strategy and deadly as a competitor,” retail expert Doug Stephens wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
Keep scrolling to see the story of its downfall in photos: