The holiday season can be do-or-die for retailers. That’s never been truer for Sears, which filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-October in a last-ditch bid to keep the American retail icon afloat.
The Hoffman Estates-based company has struggled for years, with a string of dismal holiday seasons. Last year, fourth-quarter sales at Sears and Kmart stores open at least a year fell 15.5 percent compared with the previous year.
This year, it has an added challenge: convincing customers to come back to a store whose name is linked with bankruptcy and whose long-term future is in question.
“This is not business as usual,” said Peter Boutros, Sears Holdings Corp.’s first...