While business literature has for over a decade concluded that, in the face of current competition for the retail dollar, Sears either needed a reset, or was best served liquidating its assets, paying off vendors and employees and returning investment dollars to shareholders. Nonetheless, Chairman Edward Lampert engaged in an decade-long rope-a-dope shedding assets to keep stores alive. Post-Chapter 11, more stores are being shuttered. With professional fees to lawyers and advisers topping $200 million while vendors get pennies on the dollar, business scholars now conclude it would have been far cheaper for a trustee to simply run an orderly liquidation of the company ensuring that proceeds went where they should have gone.
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