Sears at WestShore Plaza closing in January

Eddie Lampert

Eddie Lampert

Two Tampa Bay locations - Kmart on Busch Boulevard and Sears at Citrus Town Center - closed this fall, while another handful of locations will close by the end of the year.

CNBC reported Friday that Sears Holding informed employees at affected stores that 80 locations around the country would close in addition to the 182 stores already announced to shutter.

The store at Grand Cities Mall is one of 80 locations across the United States that will close in spring, according to a Sears news release. It wants someone to buy about 500 of its stores and the Kenmore appliance brand to keep Sears and Kmart open for business. The stores are expected to close by March; with liquidation sales starting in January.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert's hedge fund said it submitted a last-minute bid Friday valued at $4.4 billion to keep the struggling retailer from being liquidated.

The additional closures come after the retail giant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in October, driven by significant debt and waning sales. They argue it is the best way to stem losses and return the greatest amount of cash to the people and businesses owed money by Sears.

Sears told the bankruptcy court it has interest from multiple parties. The company had 68,000 workers at the time of its bankruptcy filing. Finding lenders could prove hard, particularly if holiday sales left Sears in a deeper hole than it had hoped.

So far US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain, who is hearing the case, has allowed Sears to proceed with plans to stay in business.

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