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The Sears Auto Centers at these stores will also close.

- Sears plans to close its store at the Mall of America in March in its latest round of store closings nationwide.

The Sears store at Towne East Square in Wichita is one of 80 locations closing across the country, the company said Friday.

The news comes as a crucial deadline for the bankrupt retailer Sears looms on whether the company survives or will be liquidated.

Since filing for bankruptcy, the retailer has announced plans to close more than a third of its locations. The closure of another 40 stores was announced in November.

Sears Chairman Edward Lampert earlier advanced a $4.6 billion proposal to buy the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, but he hasn't officially submitted a bid.

However, as of Thursday afternoon, Lampert had not submitted his bid for failure to raise the cash, insiders say. Going out of business sales will start within two weeks.

The court will choose the bid that recovers as much of the money Sears owes its lenders and vendors as possible, whether that means shutting the business down immediately or giving Sears more runway to restructure, Barbarosh said. Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., also didn't respond to messages.

Lambert's efforts to save Sears began with the with the addition of Kmart, which ESL purchased out of bankruptcy in 2002.

The company released a list of the closing Sears and Kmart locations online and released the following statement.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in October, employs more than 68,000 people.


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