CHICAGO (CBS) — Sears will get one more day to be rescued from bankruptcy and save about 50,000 jobs.
Many employees and customers are in shock. Many thought liquidation was inevitable. But now the 126-year-old company may have one lifeline left.
A bankruptcy judge in New York is reportedly giving billionaire investor and Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert another chance to buy the retailer out of bankruptcy.
The $4.4-billion-dollar offer is contingent upon Lampert’s hedge fund making a deposit of $120 million by 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.
For the iconic retailer’s employees and customers, it’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions.
“I’m happy about it yes,” said longtime Sears shopper Grace Brogan. “They say it’s not going to close. Hopefully they don’t close. A lot of people need to work.”
“When I came to Chicago from Mississippi, Sears was my favorite shopping store down in the West Side,” said shopper Tom Sullivan, who hopes the store will stay open.
Ron Olbrysh, Chairman of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees said it’s a stressful time for current and even former Sears associates who are watching this decision closely. If Sears liquidates, they would keep their pensions but lose their life insurance.
Olbrysh said it’s still unclear if Lampert’s plan will rescue Sears.
“We’re at the 11th hour right now and whether or not he’ll be able to save the company is quite frankly anybody’s guess at this point,” Olbrysh said.
He added that they will be looking to see if Wednesday’s deadline in met. The next deadline is an auction set for Monday.