Saturday, June 2, 2018

Part 1 of Sears, a tale of the retail apocalypse

When I shared Toys R Us closing down and Kmart may follow at the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page, I promised "The next installment about the retail apocalypse will be about Sears. Stay tuned."  Here it is.

I begin with CNNMoney reporting Sears is closing 63 more stores.
The company initially announced plans Thursday to close 72 stores, but pulled back slightly and released a list of only 63 stores slated for closing - 48 Sears stores and 15 Kmart stores, spread across 29 states. The company said the nine additional stores that it initially planned to announce would close will be evaluated further.
MarketWatch put these closings in context, at least for the short term.
Sears said Thursday it had closed 67 Kmart stores and 41 Sears stores during the 13 weeks ended May 5, and closed 303 Kmart stores and 123 Sears stores in 2017.
CNNMoney described the longer term trend.
The company closed nearly 400 stores during the past 12 months, and now has a total of 894 left, including the 63 slated for closure. The two chains had a total of 3,500 US stores between them when they merged in 2005.
CNBC takes the longest possible view in Sears: The Rise And Fall Of The Massive U.S. Retailer.

Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert admits his retail empire isn't what he imagined it would become when he brought Sears and Kmart together 13 years ago. He had his eyes set then on being "the next Warren Buffett," and Sears Holdings was supposed to be his Berkshire Hathaway, says one former top Sears executive. But Lampert's strategy from the start was slashing costs to grow the bottom line, even if that meant not investing in Sears' stores, the person explained to CNBC. Sears and Kmart were already lacking so many resources, namely investment capital to fend off online upstarts like Amazon, and an experienced bench of retail executives, so these early cuts took an enormous toll.
The video mentioned Sears selling off Land's End and Craftsman.  According to CNNMoney, the brand the chain will sell off next is Kenmore, its line of appliances.  Lampert himself may end up owning it.  That's one way to strip the assets of the company he runs.

All of the above examined Sears and its issues from the air.  I plan on presenting the view on the ground on Monday, when I will share three videos from Retail Archeology.  Stay tuned.


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