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The future looks bleak for Minnesota's Sears and Kmart stores

If it doesn't find extra cash and keeps experiencing losses, Sears' owner admits it won't be able to stock its stores.
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The company that operates department stores Sears and Kmart admits there is "substantial doubt" about its ability to stay in business.

In a filing with with Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, the company said its operating results "indicate substantial doubt exists relating to the company's ability to continue as a going concern," ABC News reports.

The company has lost $10.4 billion since 2011 and retail expert Ken Perkins told the TV station Sears could only truly survive if it operated 200 stores – it currently has 1,430.

According to USA Today, it's trying to find ways to mitigate its cash woes, but if it's unable to raise extra money while continuing to experience losses, it might not be able to afford to stock its stores.

If Sears goes down it's likely to take Kmart with it, with the newspaper reporting the company has failed to keep up with modern style trends, or cope with the huge shift of shoppers online.

Sears still operates 42 stores and auto centers across Minnesota, retaining a presence through its Hometown Stores locations in many cities in greater Minnesota. However, some of these were slated for closure when Sears shut down its Mankato and Coon Rapids locations this past January.

Kmart's footprint in the state is smaller, operating just six stores in Minneapolis, Duluth, International Falls, Rochester, St. Paul, and Thief River Falls.

Since Sears and Kmart merged in late 2004/early 2005, both companies' fortunes have dwindled, with CNN Money noting Sears alone has closed about 2,000 stores over the past decade.

It's been an ignominious fall from grace for what was once America's biggest retailer. It saw business boom in post-WWII America as it developed an extensive store network, the website says.

One of Sears' rivals, J.C. Penney, is also struggling and last week announced it would be closing 138 stores across the country, including eight in Minnesota.

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