Sears at Towne East one of 80 stores closing nationwide

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The iconic but now bankrupt retailer announced Friday it was closing 80 more Sears and Kmart stores.

Dozens of Sears and Kmart locations throughout the United States will close in March 2019.

Also, Sears is closing 80 more stores. Liquidation sales at those stores will begin in two weeks.

Two Tampa Bay locations - Kmart on Busch Boulevard and Sears at Citrus Town Center - closed this fall, while another handful of locations will close by the end of the year.

Employees, the release said, were notified of the closures Thursday.

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Spokespersons for both Sears and ESL declined to comment. The only public offer comes from the hedge fund controlled by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert, though it's not yet an official bid.

The closings come on top of 40 other store closures Sears expects to complete in February. NY time under procedures outlined in court filings, and Lampert has been the only potential buyer aiming to keep the business running. At that time, the company said it would close 142 unprofitable stores.

The Charlottesville Sears store is among those listed to close on MarketWatch. The judge will weigh the opinions of other stakeholders, including unsecured creditors who have argued they could recover more of their investment if the department store operator winds down. Sears' corporate headquarters was not answering further questions, either.

The company also operates Hometown Stores in Mexia and Temple. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.