Sears staves off liquidation, stores to remain open

Sears has won a reprieve in a desperate attempt to stave off its own demise.

The company's largest shareholder and chairman, Eddie Lampert, won a bankruptcy auction in New York, according to a source familiar with negotiations. The person agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the negotiation publicly.

Lampert had upped his bid to more than $5 billion in recent days.

Lampert, who steered the company into bankruptcy protection may be able to keep the roughly 400 remaining Sears stores open, which would mean tens of thousands of jobs are saved, at least for now.

Whether Sears, founded 132 years ago, can survive in the era of Amazon remains questionable.

Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. At that time, it had 687 stores and 68,000 workers. At its peak in 2012, its stores numbered 4,000.

Lampert says there's still potential for the company even as it struggles to compete not only with Amazon, but Walmart, Target and dollar stores that have carved out their own niche.

Dawn Kamber