For more than a century, Sears had been a department store that was universally loved.
While it was once known as the largest retailer in the world - selling everything from appliances, to carpeting, clothes, and mattresses - it's not surprising to hear that a well-established corporation has fallen from grace and sadly, Sears is no different.
The Fall From Grace
The Wall Street Journal reports the company has hired M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm, to prepare for an imminent potential filing, which is rumored to be done as early as Friday.
On Monday, Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart faces a $134 million debt payment, the publication added, citing sources familiar with the matter.
After news broke out that Sears will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company's stock dropped 32% on October 10, to just 40 cents a share.
While Sears has yet to turn in a profit since 2010, billionaire and CEO Eddie Lampert has rescued the company from ruin in the past with his own money, wants to "restructure the debt without filing for bankruptcy protection" with the help of his hedged fund, ESL Investments.
According to USA Today, while a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would give Sears an opportunity to "cut debt and reemerge as smaller, profitable company," it's unlikely that would happen.
However Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told the outlet that there's only "a slim chance" that a restructuring deal would save Sears from bankruptcy, but not from inevitably going under.
"In our view, this is the inevitable end game of an effective liquidation process that has been going on for many years.
Throughout that time the sale of various assets along with injections of cash from Eddie Lampert have kept the ailing retailer from going under.
However, the activity is akin to bailing out water from a holed ship: It keeps the vessel afloat for longer but does nothing to sort out the underlying problem."
However, Sears isn't the only company to have recently fallen on hard times.
The new and improved Toys "R" Us?
Last year, it was revealed that Toys "R" Us would be closing their doors for good after the company put in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Although the public had mourned their favorite childhood toy store, a group of investors said in an October 2 court filling that they will no longer be auctioning off their Toys “R” Us assets, and would be working to "bring back these iconic brands in a new and re-imagined way."
Bloomberg reports that the investors would be selling the intellectual property and branding rights back to the company, which will allow the former retail giant will be able to open up smaller stores under its old name.
But will Sears also receive a hail Mary? Only time will tell.