The iconic American retailer stock plummeted after warning it has ''substantial doubt'' about its business future. As Fred Katayama reports, some shoppers hold the retailer dear.
Warning from Sears: The iconic department store chain doubts it'll stay in business. Sears said in its annual report, "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." Reuters reporter Jessica DiNapoli. SOUNDBITE: JESSICA DINAPOLI, RESTRUCTURING REPORTER, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It means there could be a bankruptcy on the horizon in the coming year or so. But it's not a definite yet, because Sears is still trying to execute on asset sales both of its real estate and its intellectual property." The news sent Sears shares down as much as 16 percent Wednesday. Sears' CFO Jason Hollar said the company is a "viable business that can meet its financial and other obligations for the foreseeable future." Sears' warning comes just six weeks after it said it hoped to slash $1 billion in costs under what it called a "strategic transformation." The company has lost money since 2011 as it faced rising competition from Wal-Mart and Target. It has more than $13 billion in liabilities. In its heyday, Sears was the largest U.S. retailer and part of Americana. Shoppers in New York City said they were attracted to the store for its prices and its long history. SOUNDBITE: HANNAH PALMER, SHOPPER FROM BROOKLYN, SAYING: "I think because they have outlasted so many other competitors, I think that's something that I love and hold dear to." SOUNDBITE: MARGARET SMALL, SHOPPER FROM BROOKLYN, SAYING: "Lots of memories because I have always shopped there, especially for the kids, going to school. Their school clothes was always lasting. The quality is also good, and I am missing right now the one in King's Plaza. That's why I have to be here today. And if this were to close, tt's it. I'll be very sad." This latest chapter deals a blow to hedge fund investor Edward Lampert, who took control of Sears in 2004 and pledged to bring it back to health.