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Sears to close 142 stores after bankruptcy filing, 2 in Minnesota

What was once a retail giant has fallen on hard times.

Sears will close another 142 stores in the U.S. after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday – including 2 in Minnesota.

The retail chain, which was once America's biggest, confirmed the impending closures on Monday, saying it has identified 142 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores that will shutter before the end of the year.

Liquidation sales will begin at these stores shortly, and the company will also look for buyers for many of its other remaining stores, of which there will be around 550 after the latest closures.

The Minnesota locations that will close are the full-size stores on Rice Street in St. Paul and at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka.

Its location at the Mall of America in Bloomington will be its only full-size store left in Minnesota, after the retailer earlier this year brought an end to the stores at Miller Hill Mall in Duluth and Shingle Creek Crossing in Brooklyn Center.

It still has almost two dozen of its smaller "Hometown" stores and auto centers dotted around Minnesota.

Minnesota's remaining Kmart stores are safe for now.

Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, says the company's efforts to transform its business has progressed, but not yet delivered the results they wanted.

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"The Chapter 11 process will give Holdings the flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet, enabling the Company to accelerate its strategic transformation, continue right sizing its operating model, and return to profitability," he added.

"As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers."

It marks a remarkable downturn of the brand that was once America's largest retailer and employer after it was founded in 1886.

It failed to keep up with the times however, losing market share to price-cutting competitors like Walmart and Home Depot, before struggling further in the Amazon age.

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