Sears Holdings Chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert has won a bankruptcy auction, preventing liquidation of the company for now, but the future of the retailer’s Lake Success location is unclear.
The company announced last Thursday and filed a notice on Friday that ESL Investments won the bidding auction in bankruptcy court with a $5.2 billion offer that includes the acquisition of all Sears’ assets. Lampert is the founder, chairman and CEO of ESL.
“We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process,” the Restructuring Committee of the company’s board of directors said in a statement. “Importantly, the consummation of the transaction would preserve employment for tens of thousands of associates, as well as the relationships with many vendors and suppliers who provide Sears with goods and services.”
The status of the Sears store at the Lake Success Shopping Center in New Hyde Park is not known.
The winning bid posted by Lampert, if approved at a scheduled bankruptcy hearing Feb. 1, would keep nearly 400 stores in business and preserve 45,000 jobs, but no details have been provided as to which stores would continue operating.
Efforts to reach Sears representatives for comment on the location were unavailing.
According to members of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association of New Hyde Park, as well as a recent Facebook post from the group, there are preliminary talks that the large retail store may become a Target, though there is no signed deal or announcement.
Kenneth Schuckman, president of Schuckman Realty, represents the private family partnership that owns the Lake Success property. Schuckman has said that multiple national brand tenants were interested in filling the location.
Efforts to reach Schuckman Realty were unavailing.
Sears, the 126-year-old retail giant, has faced profitability issues over the last decade. Sears sales have fallen from $53 billion in 2006 to $17 billion in 2017.