Friday, October 12, 2018

Part 4 of Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I left off Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse with Part 3 in August, writing then "That hurts, although my wife and I have a Sears just a bit closer at Twelve Oaks Mall.  I don't think that one will close until the entire chain goes under, which should happen next year, as Twelve Oaks Mall is still thriving.  When that happens, it will hurt."  The end has come even closer, as WXYZ reported yesterday Sears facing bankruptcy: Here's what consumers need to know.

Sears may be days away from bankruptcy. The long-troubled retailer has reportedly started making the moves for a filing, leaving nearly 1,000 Sears and Kmart locations on the chopping block.  The company is $134 million in debt and hasn't turned a profit since 2010.
WXYZ was reporting from the Twelve Oaks Mall location in Novi, which I think is no coincidence.  As I wrote above, it would be open until the entire chain goes under, which is sooner than I expected.  Last April, my prediction was "I suspect Kmart [will] follow Toys R Us into bankruptcy once the holiday shopping season is over and could be closed by the end of 2019, just when I'm predicting the U.S. to be in recession."  In July, I added "That goes for Sears, too, since they're the same company."  The company almost certainly won't even last that long.  At this rate, it will be closed after this year's holiday shopping season.

WXYZ isn't the only one of my regular sources that is following this story.  Follow over the jump for two videos from Retail Archeology.

Retail Archeology posted the video that alerted me to the latest development in this story, Sears: Come See The BANKRUPT Side Of Sears | Retail Archaeology.

In this episode we talk about the recent news concerning Sears potential bankruptcy coming very soon.
I have the following reactions to points raised in the video.  Sears stock is below $1.00; one of the people commenting wrote that it was already down to 29 cents per share.  It is about to be delisted from NASDAQ and the stock itself will be worthless when the chain files for bankruptcy.  If the chain goes into Chapter 7, it will sink a lot of malls, although some landlords will be able to lure more lucrative tenants (subscription required); the rich will get richer while the poor get poorer.  Speaking of which, the pension default will be a major issue, although at least some of them will be covered by a government program.  I don't mind my tax dollars going to save those retirees.  As for lifetime warranties, I think those will be gone unless they are Craftsman tools and Stanley, which bought the brand, will take responsibility.

The narrator referred to an earlier video in which he asked Sears: Will They Make It To 126 Years Old?  Sadly, the answer appears to be no.

In this episode we take a look at the Sears at Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale, AZ. This store was originally a Montgomery Ward store. We also discuss Sears terrible 2nd quarter sales report and the companies future.
When I watched this video, I decided to save it for the next round of bad news about the chain.  That particular stormy day has arrived, and I'm not talking about Hurricane Michael.*

Finally, as I wrote in Part 3, "I've been mourning ever since I posted Vox on America's dying malls as failed third spaces in April."  The mourning continues.

*I may cover that tomorrow, as none of the nominated coverage of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria won at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards.  Speaking of which, I might get to the winners at that ceremony as early as Sunday.  Either way, stay tuned.

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