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President Trump on Monday chastised Sears Holdings, saying it had “improperly run” the stores for years during the retail company’s slow and painful decline.
Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday in an attempt to keep the iconic department store chain alive.
Sears, which has 687 stores and about 68,000 employees, will close another 142 locations by about the end of the year as part of the bankruptcy. That plan is on top of a recently announced round of 46 store closures.
Speaking to reporters before heading to Florida, Trump said the company’s bankruptcy will hit those in his age group hard.
“It’s a shame,” he said. “So Sears, Roebuck, when I was growing up, was the big deal. And it’s very sad what happened. Very, very sad,” he said.
“When you look at that whole filing that they did last night, to me it’s very sad,” Trump continued. “Somebody that is of my generation — Sears, Roebuck was a big deal, so it’s very sad to see.”
Some of Sears’ store sites could be used for other ventures, he said.
“I would imagine some of those great sites that Sears has — they really have some great sites — will be put to good use,” Trump said. “It will be a lot of jobs.”
In recent years, Sears Holdings has closed several hundred Sears and Kmart stores in an attempt to stabilize its finances amid deteriorating sales. The two chains combined in 2005.
“Sears has been dying for many years,” Trump said. “It’s been, obviously, improperly run for many years, and it’s a shame.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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