142 stores nationwide affected by the Oct. 15 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by parent company Sears Holdings

The Sears store at Clackamas Town Center will close as a result of the Sears bankruptcy filing on Oct. 15.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Sears at Washington Square Mall in Tigard is among the 142 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide that will close by the end of the year as part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Oct. 15 by parent company Sears Holdings.The latest round of closures follows 46 that were announced on Aug. 22, among them the Sears stores at the Vancouver Mall and at Washington Square Mall in Tigard, and Kmart in Gresham and Beaverton. Those stores are scheduled to close in November.

They, along with Sears Auto Center at Willamette Town Center in Salem, are among the 142 stores affected of a total of around 700. Kmart stores in Oregon City and Clackamas already had closed years ago.

Sears has been one of the anchor stores at Washington Square Mall since November 1973, a few months before the opening of the mall itself in 1974. There is also a Sears Auto Center, which is not physically connected to the main mall. Tigard annexed the site in 1986.

It was unclear from the statement by Sears Holdings when those stores would actually close, other than "near the end of this year," implying that they would stay open through the Christmas shopping season.

The statement said that liquidation sales would start "soon."

The latest closures bring to six the number of Sears and Kmart stores going out of business in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Sears has had a long history dating back to its founding as a mail-order house by Richard Sears and Alva Roebuck in 1892. But as many general department stores have, Sears has fallen on tough times. (It and Kmart merged their stores in 2005.)

"I've been to the Kmart," Kevin O'Shea wrote on a Pamplin Media Group Facebook page. "It reminds me of a creepy horror movie. ... It's like a wasteland. I do feel bad for all the people losing their jobs, though."

The announcement by Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company, coincided with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and $300 million in new financing from its largest lender, ESL Investments. Edward Lampert, who leads the hedge fund, stepped down as Sears chief executive but remains as board chairman.

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