New York (CNN Business) - Sears, the once-dominant retail chain that changed how Americans shopped and lived, has filed for bankruptcy.
The 132-year-old company has been struggling for several years and is drowning in debt. The final straw was a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it could not afford.
Sears' parent company, which owns Sears and Kmart, is among dozens of prominent retailers to declare bankruptcy in the era of Amazon.
The filing in federal bankruptcy court in New York came just after midnight early hours of Monday. The company issued a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping stores which are profitable open, along with the Sears and Kmart online shopping sites. But it said it looking for a buyer for a large number of its remaining stores and that it will close at least an additional 142 stores near the end of this year, in additional to the 46 store closing already planned for next month.
Sears has been caught under the weight of its massive debt load and dwindling cash reserves. Over the decade, Sears sold many of its most valuable real estate and other assets to raise the cash it needs to survive.
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