Sears 'must act immediately' to extend life, Lampert's fund says


#1

Sears is on its death bed and Lampert is about out of tricks to keep the corpse breathing while he continues to feast on its living corpse for his own personal benefit.

At this point, I think both a bankruptcy filing and a full shutdown of operations are imminent in the upcoming weeks, perhaps as soon as any day now.

It will be a sad day when it dies. Unfortunately, bad management in the 1990’s and 2000’s prevented Sears from adapting quickly enough to new realities and then Lampert came in to essentially ride what remained of Sears into the ground.

It didn’t have to be this way. While Sears was always going to lose ground to online retailers, better management could likely have transformed Sears into a viable entity going forward.


#2

That’s too bad. You used to be able to get some nice american made tools there.


#3

It will be sad to see this American icon go down.

To think, this all started with a box of expensive watches delivered to the wrong place.


#4

Box of expensive watches?


#5

When I was young, getting that Sears Card was almost a badge of honor, as it was considered one of the most difficult store credit cards to get. :smile:


#6

He was just a clerk somewhere and an opportunity passed by.

Sears moved across the state to work as a railroad station agent in North Redwood as well as in Minneapolis. While in North Redwood, a jeweler received an impressive shipment of watches which were unwanted. Sears purchased them, then sold the watches at a low price to the station agents and made a considerable profit.


#7

Good story. I had never heard it. Thanks. :+1:


#8

But critics say Lampert has put his hedge fund at the front of the line to collect key debt payments and assets in the event of Sears’ demise.

I don’t think that’s right. His hedge fund should be at the back of the line to collect in case of the companies demise. I would hope a bankruptcy court judge would do that.


#9

Interestingly enough, Sears was Amazon decades before Amazon was a thing. Remember the Sears catalo? One could order just about anything from it and have it shipped to their door. Since they had the infrastructure in place to fulfill delivery to the customer, one has to wonder why the simple task of moving the catalog online didn’t happen, or didn’t happen quick enough. Did the internet sneak up on them?


#11

I’ve thought the exact same thing.


#12

Like many companies they had grown arrogant, fat, and lazy (Kmart has shared the same fate) due to their long term success. The new breed of online retailers (especially Bezos’s Amazon) were hungry, dedicated, and willing to learn how to survive the new market realities of retail. The old school were not and have suffered for their arrogance. It has killed many a company.


#13

You have to wonder why they weren’t at the forefront of internet sales.


#14

He also got a very nice tax cut earlier this year.


#15

That catalog had to exist in a spreadsheet or database or something - it would really have made sense to port it to an online catalog, even just for browsing before ecommerce took off.

Man I used to really live with that Wish Book when I was a kid. The best.


#16

With the infrastructure they had, they should have been where Amazon is now years ago. They just didn’t follow the technological progress of the past couple of decades.


#17

If I recall correctly, Lampert bought Sears as a real estate play. He didn’t know anything about retail.
Unfortunately, many malls have died and so did the real estate.


#18

Sears Holdings closed today at $0.92.

They once hit $195.18.

They have a $134 Million note coming due on October 15 that they will almost certainly default on.

If that happens, likely Sears creditors will push regulators to force Sears to file a Chapter 7 liquidation. The entire chain would likely cease operations in a matter of days, with immediate liquidation of Sears remaining assets to follow.


#19

Sears Holdings closed at $0.81 today.


#20

Once the lessers take over, it’s near impossible to get rid of them. Markets work.


#21

The catalogue business you are talking about was discontinued in 1993, a few years before the internet started coming online and becoming popular.

So by the time the internet showed up, they no longer had the catalogue, nor the infrastructure to take advantage of it.

Dumb move looking backwards.