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What a Whole Foods takeover of Sears would look like

Aarthi Swaminathan
Finance Writer

Amazon (AMZN) may have helped quicken the end for former retail giant Sears (SHLD), and the e-commerce giant could also take advantage of the emptied Sears stores.

The company’s Whole Foods division is now eyeing the bankrupt Sears’ closed stores, hoping to take advantage of the chain’s locations in states like Montana and Wyoming which were previously considered out of its reach, sources told Yahoo Finance’s Krystal Hu.

Over the past three years, 126-year-old Sears has closed 123 Sears stores, 205 Kmart stores, and laid off thousands of employees. (Kmart is owned by Sears.) Sears is now facing liquidation.

Here’s what a Whole Foods takeover of Sears stores would look like on a U.S. map:

A Whole Foods takeover of Sears would span the U.S. (Graphics: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

Any Whole Foods takeover of Sears would depend on liquidation

Sears began as Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1893, selling jewelry and watches. The company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1906. It also expanded into financial services in 1980’s, and introduced the Discover credit card in 1985.

In its heyday in the 1970’s and 80’s, Sears saw its annual revenue reaching around 1% of the U.S. gross domestic product.

But with competition from other retailers like Target and Walmart, the company began to slowly lose its foothold, and with the advent of Amazon, ran into bankruptcy.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert — who also owns hedge fund ESL Investments, Sears’ company’s biggest shareholder and creditor — has one last chance to buy the chain out of bankruptcy and save around 50,000 jobs and 425 stores.  

Lampert’s plans are contingent upon an auction that will take place on Monday where a judge will decide if a takeover or a liquidation is the next step

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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