With Sears preparing to close almost 150 stores after filing for bankruptcy, mall owners are worried that "attention-getting tactics" used by Sears and other liquidators, including large "Everything Must Go" and "Bankruptcy Sale" signs, will drive holiday shoppers and potential leasers away from malls. In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Macerich and Brixmor (two large mall owners), sought to stop the use of garish and big bankruptcy signs at their malls.

In the filing, mall operators said, "Shopping center tenants bargain for a certain environment as part of their decision to lease space in centers." They argued that people handing out liquidation sale fliers are a violation of that certain environment. Five mall landlords asked a bankruptcy judge to approve a "list of do's and don'ts" before tenants, like Sears, can gear up for liquidation sales in their malls.

Ballard Spahr bankruptcy attorney David Pollack, who represents Brixmor, said, "It's more of a proactive measure, but we also haven't been able to make contact with the liquidator to make an agreement with them."

In the meantime, mall owners have asked the bankruptcy court to ban "neon or day-glo signs" and limit the number of signs Sears can display to five.

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