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A Slippery Slope For Sears As The Retailer Files For Bankruptcy Protection

A Ball State economist said Sears' fall from grace was result of company being "squeezed from three different sides." 

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Sears is filing for bankruptcy protection and with it, closing two more Sears stores and three more K-Mart stores in Indiana. 

Ball State University economics professor Steve Horwitz said Sears has gotten to this point thanks to being "squeezed from three different sides." 

"They couldn't figure out how to compete in the Internet world, that's for sure," said Horwitz. "They found it difficult to compete with lower costs offered by warehouse stores like Costco or Walmart, and they never could compete with quality from stores such as Nordstroms." 

Horwitz said to this point, Sears had still being trying to be "everything for everyone," which is a model that he believes many customers don't want anymore. He adds consumers don't want to make a special trip to the mall anymore when they can get everything they need online.

Moving forward, Sears is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"Essentially what that means is that they are protected from the folks that they owe money to," Horwitz said. "They can't just come and start grabbing Sears' assets left and right."

Horwitz said Sears is closing 140 stores across the US by the end of this year, which includes Sears stores in Greenwood and Terre Haute as well as K-Mart stores in Indianapolis, Jasper and Griffith. 

He said consumers won't be affected by the closures to much since access to other similar retailers like Amazon or Walmart is pretty easy. But, Horwitz added the closures spell bad news for America's malls. 

Horwitz said many malls thrived because of Sears and without Sears stores these malls will lose their anchor store which could spell their demise as more people turn to shopping online.

(PHOTO: FIVE.press/Getty Images)

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