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The New York Times reports this morning that Sears Holdings, parent company to both Sears and Kmart, said yesterday that because of continuing losses ($2.2 billion during the last fiscal year) and a lack of confidence that things can be turned around, there is "substantial doubt" about its ability "to continue as a going concern."

The story notes that Sears has been making a series of moves to try and shore up its precarious finances - closing stores, selling brands such as Craftsman, streamlining its organization and borrowing money (much of it from Edward S. Lampert, the hedge fund manager who invested in and started running the company more than a dozen years ago). But it largely has been for naught, as it lost more than $5 billion over the past three years, with every indication that the losses were only going to get larger.

Sears' structural inadequacies were only exacerbated by the fact that the retail segment was undergoing dramatic change, with Walmart continuing to grow and Amazon pioneering a broader shift away from bricks-and-mortar stores and toward e-commerce.

Sears' total liabilities are said to be in excess of $13 billion.
KC's View:
The only amazing thing about this concession by Sears is that it took so long. Most of us have had a lot more than substantial doubt about the company's future for a long, long time. If only Sears were able to sell the stuff that its top execs must've been smoking to maintain that level of self-delusion, maybe it would've had a shot.

Turn out the lights
The party's over
They say that all
Good things must end
Call it a night
The party's over...