BBB monitoring Sears bankruptcy

ROCKFORD – The Better Business Bureau continues to monitor the proceedings which have led to Sears Holdings filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, Oct. 15.

“The filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy has been included on the BBB profile for Sears and consumers should be aware of the situation as they consider the future of any warranties on purchases, as well as the purchase or redemption of gift cards,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau. “Sears contacted BBB in a proactive approach to reassure customers that they will continue to address any issues or complaints.”

Sears Holdings, which also owns discount retailer K-Mart, currently has 687 stores and states it will close another 142 by the end of the year, on top of a recently announced round of 46 closures.

“The bankruptcy will allow Sears to strengthen its balance sheet, enabling the company to accelerate its strategic transformation, continue right sizing its operating model and return to profitability,” Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert said in a statement.

The Better Business Bureau advises that regardless of the financial condition of any company consumers should always use gift cards and clear up lay-a-ways quickly.

Gift Card Tips During Sears Bankruptcy

  • Check the terms and conditions. A gift card’s terms may allow the card to be used at another business location.
  • Use gift cards as quickly as possible. While you may have years -or forever- to use the gift card, that doesn’t mean you should wait that long to spend it.
  • File a claim. If you miss the deadline to redeem a gift card, you are able to file a claim for the value of the card. However, these claims are processed behind the company’s major creditors. So, if you see news about a company preparing to file for bankruptcy, use your gift cards immediately.

For information, visit bbb.org. R.

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