LI store among 142 set to close after Sears files for Chapter 11

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GARDEN CITY -

Sears, the former leader of the American retail industry that has been in business for over a century, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and announced plans to close dozens of stores.

The company said it will shutter 142 Sears and Kmart locations across the country by the end of the year, including one in Garden City.

MORE: Consumer Stories

That's in addition to the closures of the Sears on Union Turnpike in Lake Success and the Kmart on Old Country Road in Riverhead, which were previously announced over the summer.

Sears published its first mail-order catalog in 1888. There was a time when just about anything could be found in the Sears catalog - including a house. Between 1908 and 1940, the company sold about 75,000 build-from-a-kit houses, many of which are still standing.

It also sold everything from girdles to socket wrenches, dresses to guns, dolls to washing machines – an Amazon of its day.

For generations, Sears was an innovator in practically every area, including home delivery. When post-World War II prosperity led to the growth of suburbia, Sears was well-positioned to cash in on another major development: the shopping mall.

By the late 1960s, Sears was the world's largest retailer.

But recently the company has struggled with outdated stores and complaints about customer service. That's in contrast with chains like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy's, which have been enjoying stronger sales as they benefit from a robust economy and efforts to make the shopping experience more inviting by investing heavily in remodeling and de-cluttering their stores.

Sears Holdings will close 77 Sears stores and 65 Kmart stores near the end of the year. The closure of another 46 unprofitable stores had already been announced in August.

Liquidation sales are expected to begin shortly.

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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