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Here's a map of the 80 Sears and Kmart stores closing in March

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Sears is expected to close another round of stores early next year, as the bankrupt department store chain now tries to stay afloat via a $4.4 billion bid from its chairman, Eddie Lampert.

Sears told its employees earlier this week that 80 Sears and Kmart locations across the U.S. will shut by March, with liquidation sales beginning in early January. That follows the announcement of 142 store closures when Sears filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15, and another round of 40 closures announced in November.

It leaves the company with just a little more than 400 stores, which Lampert is now trying to buy using his hedge fund, ESL Investments. Advisors have until Jan. 4 to decide whether ESL is a "qualified bidder" for the remaining Sears and Kmart assets.

Meantime, Sears will move forward with shutting the 80 locations that it revealed this week, including one inside the Mall of America.

VIDEO3:1703:17
Sears: The rise and fall of the iconic department store
CNBC