'Doubt' expressed that Sears and Kmart stores will survive

Sears department store in Riverside on Wednesday. Sears once the monolith of American retail says that there is “substantial doubt” that it will be able to keep its doors open

The disclosure raised concerns over the retailer's ability to restructure its debt load and stock inventory heading into the crucial 2017 holiday season.

"While our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists, we want to be very clear that we're taking decisive actions to mitigate that doubt", Howard Riefs, a Sears spokesman, said in an email. Retailers typically book orders for merchandise for the vital fourth quarter from now through midsummer.

The retail landscape is littered with storied brands that have closed in recent years as brick-and-mortar stores became an albatross in the face of growing competition online.

Sears has accumulated more than $10bn in net losses in the past six fiscal years while its shares have lost 90 per cent of their value over the past five years, leaving its market capitalisation below $850m.

New Jersey has been fairly resilient when it comes to reusing vacant retail space. "This is a symbolic acknowledgement of the end of Sears of what we know it to be".

Sears Holdings is the parent of Kmart Holding and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday, Sears Holding Corp. said it lost more than $2 billion in 2016.

This announcement by Sears of its possible demise is a big blow to Lampert, who took over the business after it merged with Kmart, which at the time he controlled, back in 2004.

Sears, an icon of American retail dating to the 19th century, is in danger of having to close its doors. Sears received $525 million upon closing the deal, and is scheduled to receive a further $250 million in cash in the next three years, as well as payments on future sales of the Craftsman products in the next 15 years. However, the inclusion of Sears' new language in its SEC filing could be seen as a signal that Lampert's financial spigot could turn off.

"However, we can not predict, with certainty, the outcome of our actions to generate liquidity, including the availability of additional debt financing, or whether such actions would generate the expected liquidity as now planned", the report reads.

KESQ and CBS Local 2 reporter Joe Galli reached out to representatives with Sears Holding Company.

Retailers at large have fallen out of favor, and investors worry Sears' strategy of selling assets to fund losses has its limits.

Still, it reported a $2.2 billion loss for previous year and said it had to use money from its investments and financing activities to fund operations. Statements that use words and phrases such as the company "anticipates", "believes", "continue", "expects", "intends", "plans", "transform", "going to be" and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "will", "may", and "could" are generally forward-looking in nature and not historical facts and are meant to identify forward-looking statements.

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