I expected this to eventually happen. They are selling off everything of value. I give SearsMart another 5 years.
I will be shocked if they make it 5 years. They just closed 2 of our largest Sears Stores, both in prime locations. The closings have to be based more on rent than traffic at the mall they were at. One they kept open is attached to a completely vacant mall.
I saw somewhere that the going theory is that the CEO is intentionally destroying Sears in order to sell off the parts and make a huge profit for the execs while putting everyone else out of work.
This does not seem to counter that theory in any way.
Well, according to the article, the CEO is a hedge fund manager, so what you described shouldn’t be surprising
IMHO you’re being generous. Sears has been in trouble for years.
After selling off as many parts as possible, I see this sad chain fading into the sunset within no more than 2 years, but with the top-level management escaping with golden–or platinum–parachutes.
And, just think…after destroying this once-proud chain of stores, Eddie Lampert–the CEO “boy genius” who has run Sears Holdings into the ground for several years–can probably land a cushy job in DC, due to his business “acumen”.
So in the end, we might be able to call Eddie Lampert a corporate raider
I think that, in the end, we will probably call him Secretary of Commerce…
While I’m no fan of Eddie Lambert, he didn’t take over Sears until 2013. Sears had already been crumbling for many years. What he’ll likely do is break it up and sell off the pieces, typical of corporate raiders. But it’s beyond saving, so IMHO this is probably better for the employees (and for the vendors) than a liquidation.
Huge corporations are complicated, but I believe Sears’ slow implosion was primarily caused by a failure to respond to changing buying habits. By the time it began to respond to the new generations’ exodus from catalog buying, it was too late. Even now it has failed to convert its brick & mortar “face” to one of a big-box discount store or its online image to one of an online store. Even in appliances, a category for which Sears was well respected, stores like Lowes now undercuts their prices AND offers free delivery. I expect they’ll soon sell off Kenmore too. At that point it’ll basically be over. “Dry goods” couldn’t sustain them even if they could compete in that area. And they killed their own automotive business through poor performance and cheating the customers (you may recall the law suits in 1999?).
I was in a Sears store about a month ago, and their appliance section–which was always a beehive of activity–was as “dead” as the rest of the store.
The only thing that I can say in favor of Sears management is that they weren’t wasting money on salaries for appliance salespeople. Where there once would have been 4 or 5 appliance salespeople, there was ONE lonely employee standing at a cash register. In the TV section, there were no salespeople, and the displays included several TVs without prices, and several price placards without TVs.
I would be amazed if that chain survives more than another year or so.
Trying to pass-off used batteries as new ones doesn’t exactly endear a company to their customers, or to various state Attorneys General.
I don’t know exactly when they sold-off their auto centers, but other entities have owned the Sears auto centers for at least a few years. In my neck of the woods, one mega-auto dealer actually owns a Sears Auto Center, but because the Sears sign is still on the building, most of the public is unaware of the change in ownership
Eddie Lampert can always have himself kidnapped and use the ransom to pay himself what he thinks he’s worth. His involvement with Auto Zone was somewhat strange. I had a few shares of Auto Zone when Lampert took over and the stories of his playing games to pump the stock were being told within the company and on market web sites. But he’s just one of many speculators who can feel proud when he cashes in on a sinking ship full of steerage passengers with no life jackets or life boats.
In regards to the Sears automotive division . . .
A few months ago, my brother suddenly NEEDED a battery, and it was on a Sunday
Classic scenario. Battery is 100% reliable until it isn’t. No warning signs whatsoever.
He needed that car early the next morning. There was no spare car available that weekend
Anyways, I looked on the CR website, and the top-rated battery for that group size was a Diehard, and they also had the longest free replacement warranty. The price was competive with O’Reilly, Autozone, etc.
Since I knew where the local Sears auto center was in my area, I proceeded to drive over there. Only took a few minutes. When I got there, I noticed the lights were off and the doors were closed. I thought wth and spent a few minutes walking around, outside the shop. I saw a sign stating they were closed on Sundays
So I headed over to Autozone, which was not even 1/4 mile down the same road. They’re open 7 days a week, and they got my business
In the past, NAPA autoparts in my area was always closed on Sundays. That has changed, and they’re now open on Sundays, but with slightly reduced hours, about the same hours as autozone and o’reilly.
If Sears doesn’t get in line with the others, they don’t deserve my business
To be honest, I would have rather bought that diehard battery, but it’s kind of hard to buy a battery, if the store’s not open
I’m in agreement with everybody here . . . Sears and its various spin-offs is its own worst enemy
The only winner in this whole scenario will be Eddie Lampert
I wasn’t aware of that fact, but I had already crossed them off my list for battery testing and replacement anyway.
About 2 years ago, I wanted to get a load test done, and since that service had always been free at Sears (obviously in the hope of selling you a battery), I headed over there.
Instead of their old policy of…drive right in through our open bay door, and we will test your battery in a moment or two…I found the bay doors all closed. Hmmmm…
So, I went into the auto center store, and immediately noticed that everything looked…very different.
When the surly female clerk finally acknowledged me, I asked, "Can I get a load test on my battery?"
Her response was something along the lines of…The waiting time will be about 2 hours, and the fee will be $xx.xx (I don’t recall the exact figure, but I think that it was something approaching $20.)
I told her that I didn’t have two hours to kill, and immediately drove over to Auto Zone where they did a load test–gratis–within less than 15 minutes. When I needed a battery a few months later, I bought it from Auto Zone!
The only winner will be Lampert and the Craftsman tool line will become even more Chinesey than they already are.
Black and Decker is as horrible as it gets.
Sears has very few full time employees as with most retail stores. Employment impact won’t be much when they fold.
Sears is no longer trying to make money. They’re trying to save money. Every corporation I’ve seen in this state last just a few more years.
Our local K-Mart stores are set to close this year. I, for one, am glad to see them go.
A few years ago, when one of the local K-Marts announced that it would closing in 30 days, I decided to see if I could score any bargains on filters and motor oil.
However, the automotive department–just like the rest of the store–was so devoid of merchandise that it looked like the closure was scheduled for the next day. Needless to say, I was not able to find any filters that would fit my car, and the selection of motor oils was so depleted that I didn’t even find any oil that I would be interested in buying.
I don’t know that I agree with that. Hard work and good leadership can do some amazing things toward turning a company around. Look at Hyundai. They were such a bad car company that people made Yugo-ish jokes about them for decades. Then suddenly they exploded onto the scene with innovative designs and well-built cars to the point that people actually chose Hyundai over Honda.
Lambert might have come in and busted the company up to sell off the parts, but instead their leadership team decided to salvage a real car company out of the ashes of a joke.
Classic tale of Creative Destruction. Pennys, Macys, Kohls and other brick and mortar stores are getting killed by Amazon and other online retailers. Walmart is in a huge rush to redefine their business to include online sales as a big part.
Sears and K-Mart just rushed to their own demise faster than the others. Service from their employees used to be great, now you can’t find one and if you do, they are useless. They cheapened their products to sub-Walmart levels with a business model that doesn’t allow them to compete.
The auto parts stores are headed there, too. @db4690 's story is the blueprint for their destruction. I need a car part NOW. I if I have to WAIT until tomorrow or Wednesday to get that part for my car, I’ll get it from Amazon, RockAuto or other online retailer because its cheaper since it takes as long. People are willing to pay for service. Upscale stores have learned THIS is how you compete because you won’t compete on price. Offer better products with better availability and with better availability or you will go the way of Sears, Kmart and Pennys.
Its sad to see them go but they, like the dinosaurs will die off.