US retailer Sears is seeking liquidation, less than three months after it filed for bankruptcy.

The department store giant will ask a bankruptcy judge today if it can proceed with liquidation, Reuters has reported.

The move comes after the business failed to reach an agreement on chair Edward Lampert’s $4.4bn (£3.5bn) takeover bid.

If the liquidation proposal goes through, hundreds of Sears stores across the US would shut and up to 68,000 jobs could be lost.

As previously reported, Sears Holdings, which also owns discount chain Kmart, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October. This protects US companies from financial obligations to creditors, buying them time to restructure their debts or sell parts of the business.

Sears declined to comment on the proposed liquidation.

Lampert’s bid to rescue the 126-year-old business failed as his offer did not fully address the bankruptcy costs of around $200m that Sears is said to have racked up, Reuters reported.

His bid involved writing off $1.3bn of debt he is owed in exchange for ownership of the restructured Sears business.