Sears Expects To Lose 60% Profit This Quarter. Good.

Sears Holding Company, a conjoining of two defective retail companies, Sears and Kmart, expects to lose 60% this quarter. “Come see the poorer side of Sears.” Lack of price competition, Abysmal customer service, warranty repair services contracted out to incompetent skeezebags, oh, and let’s not forget two bollixed attempts at getting jiggy with the internets only to violate customer’s privacy (exhibit A, exhibit B)… what’s there to like? That shiner looks good on you, baby, you deserve it.

Sears Expects 60% Drop in Profit for Quarter [NYT]
(Photo: meghannmarco)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Meg Marco says:

    Oh, hells yes.

  2. Consumerist shoudl compile a list of large companies who suffered a drop this year.

  3. holocron says:

    Feh! Can’t get the words out.

    Point is, we have one K-Mart around here and it is by far the most abysmal and depressing place to look at, let alone actually go into to shop.

  4. renegadebarista says:

    Before everyone gets to excited about Sears’ misfortune remember that it won’t be the people at the top that take the hit from the drop in revenue. The CEO and the upper level execs will cut the wage and/or fire people who are just barely making it as it is while they continue to take big bonuses. While I don’t like Sears, I’m not inclined to be happy about this because this only can lead to more people out of a job.

  5. chili_dog says:

    I actually went into a Kmart the other day, first time in probly 10 years. Ewww, I felt like I needed to go thru decontamination after I left.

  6. HOP says:

    sears has turned into a sorry assed place to shop…k-mart isn’t worth mentioning………

  7. meneye says:

    sigh….sears used to be so great.

  8. goller321 says:

    This after they fired all the KMart employees and rehired them for pennies on the dollar. Way to go KMart execs… hope you develop boils…

  9. goller321 says:

    @renegadebarista: They can’t really cut it much more than they have.

  10. clocker says:

    @meneye: My sister lives in Downer’s Grove, Ill. and her street is part of tour showing off all the beautiful Sears prefab homes.

    Yup, from one catalogue you used to be able to buy the house AND all it’s contents and have them delivered.

    Nowadays, the same company struggles to deliver a functional washing machine.

    How the mighty have fallen.

  11. ARP says:

    It’s funny, if you look at their reasons for the loss, nowhere do they take a bit of blame (not that many companies do). Economic conditions, credit crunch, weather, etc. but not even a tepid admission that they need to adjust their model.

    RENEGADEBARISTA- unfortunately, I agree with you. I’m sure they’ll give themselves retention bonuses.

    They remind me of some 50 year old orange county wife, living off the equity of her house. She still thinks she’s really hot and rich but but its been over a long time ago. You fluctuate between enjoying their misery and feeling sorry for them.

  12. theWolf says:

    I think we can all agree they’ve earned it.

  13. Mustang Paul says:

    Before our K-Mart went out of business, when I was forced to go inside, it looked like the store had exploded–stuff on the floor, merchandise everywhere. I wanted to get a case of those little towels you get a KFC and wipe my entire body down, twice.

  14. swalve says:

    @Meg Marco: Aren’t you guys supposed to have a modicum of journalistic detachment?

    @clocker: Where’s that at? I’d like to check that out.

  15. specialed5000 says:

    This is possibly the most confusing/misleading Consumerist article ever, which is really saying something. Sears did not lose money in the 4th quarter, they are estimating their profit will be (once the accounting is complete) to be between $350 and $470 million dollars, which is down 60% from a year ago, but still a considerable profit, not a loss.

  16. bohemian says:

    I was in a Kmart last weekend. It never was the greatest looking store to begin with. This time it was dirty and everything was in disrepair. It looked like someone had ripped all of the credit card machines off of the checkout counters. I don’t see Kmart lasting another year. What really bothers me is this is the only store within a short distance to a bunch of low income, disabled and elderly people. This store goes out they will have to travel across town to get anything other than groceries.

  17. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    And let’s not forget their stock target was decreased by two brokerage houses down to $70 from $120… ouch.

  18. mammalpants says:

    i had a HORRIBLE in-store pickup experience at sears last week that involved the employee telling me that it was going to take HOURS to process my in-store pickup after a 2-hour wait. the item was right in front of my face on the shelf. i ended up having to cancel my online order and buy the item again. what a miserable shopping experience. ill never do it again.

    funny thing is, while we were walking into the store, my girlfriend and i agreed that just by the looks of the store, it was going to go out of business very soon. the profit loss news is no surprise.

    sears is the perfect picture of a great american business being run into the grave by poor leadership. its a shame. it used to be great. now, it belongs with the other turds of our new american history.

  19. headon says:

    @ SWALVE: Why? The story is they suck. The truth is they do. Can’t blame the reporter for telling the truth. We could use more of that in our news.

  20. President Beeblebrox says:

    This is a pretty sad story overall. Growing up in the Rust Belt as I did, Sears and K-Mart were sort of like THE places you went to shop, or maybe Kaufmann’s department store if your folks had a little more money – but now Kaufmann’s has been swallowed up into The Red Star of The Solar Federation – er, I mean Macy’s. But I digress.

    Anyway, I’ve been buying tools and appliances at Sears for years, but they have just gone more and more in the dumps. The Kenmore fridge I bought from them is rapidly turning into a piece of junk only 6 year after I got it, for example.

    I had the misfortune to go into a K-Mart over the summer. I really really needed a new hose and sprinkler to take care of some new grass seed I planted, and the True Value was closed for the night. So I headed to the Home & Garden department. ACK. It was like the place had been ransacked: merchandise all over the place, decrepit cash registers pushed against the wall, bulbs and seed spilled and mixed with Martha Stewart homewares. It was truly appalling.

    So now one of America’s oldest retailers is going into the dumper. What the heck have we become as a nation?

  21. goodkitty says:

    @specialed5000: This is the “new” economy. Profits are irrelevant. The only thing that is important is how much gain you’ve made. If you’re making $10B a year then you’re still “bleeding cash” if you haven’t made double-digit increases. I don’t get it, and it doesn’t make sense, but then I guess people just can’t wait to ruin the rest of the economy with short-term greed and insanity like they did the housing and credit markets. Our GDP only grew 2% this year! We’re losing money, it’s a recession! Everyone panic!

    Don’t they teach you in MBA school that you can’t have double-digit growth forever (because you can’t go past 100%)?

  22. bombaxstar says:

    @renegadebarista: Unfortunately this is true. We had a cashier meeting the other day and this was 1/4 of the meeting: Sears is going down and all the money that is being made is being kept up top, which is one reason why Sears customer service is so shitty sometimes: employees aren’t treated as well as they used to. We have a couple of older ladies that have been with Sears since the pre-Holdings days (before the merger) and hearing their stories of how it used to be was SO depressing. It was much better, apparently.

  23. specialed5000 says:

    @goodkitty: I understand that this is very bad news for the company. That wasn’t the point of my comment. My point is that the original post was badly worded. Most people reading it, if they didn’t follow the link to the NYT article, would have thought that Sears posted a loss last quarter. It is evident from many comments that this is how many reader understood the original post. This happens frequently on Consumerist, where posts are often either unclear, or the summary of a linked article is incomplete or inaccurate on basic facts of the story.

  24. swalve says:

    @goodkitty: Recession is now defined as:

    1) Growth less than double digits for one consecutive quarter.

    and 2) If I don’t have as much money as I think I should.

  25. tzirbel says:

    That’s unfortunate that Sears is taking a dive due to a bunch of greedy butt munchers at the top. I’ve been buying from Sears for years. When I bought my house 6 years ago I bought all new kenmore appliances from Sears. Not a problem yet. The delivery personal where not the sharpest tools in the drawer but they only need to deliver the stuff. If there is a tool to be used in the house I have a hand on it. (run with that one) Lately that most things on sale are out of stock which sucks. I’ve been told by the sales staff that “The dumb asses at corporate don’t send enough shipment to meet what we can sell”

  26. clocker says:

    @swalve: “Where’s that at? I’d like to check that out.”
    Downer’s Grove is a suburb of Chicago.
    More info here:[en.wikipedia.org]

  27. reykjavik says:

    You also forgot to mention that the exterior of the Sears stores haven’t been updated since 1960 and look like insane asylums from the outside. Just looking at the Sears near me depresses me. I feel so bad for the people who have to go there every day to work.

  28. Dustbunny says:

    Sears doesn’t seem to know what kind of store they want to be — they bought an upscale brand — Lands End, but they don’t stock much LE merchandise in their stores — most of the clothing they carry is low-quality, generic Middle American stuff. Now they’re talking about buying Restoration Hardware, another upscale business, which doesn’t really fit in with their current merchandise either.

  29. MercuryPDX says:

    @swalve: She’s detached. It’s not her article. ;)

  30. Unnamed Source says:

    Sears stopped being a good place to shop when they dumped the little eatery they used to have.

  31. Ailu says:

    In defense of Sears, I bought something on the web for store pickup just the other day – and I was in and out in 10 minutes.

    Not to mention when I ordered a stove from them last year, for my kitchen remodel. It sat in the packing material in my garage for a month, before we were able to install it – only to find upon unboxing it that the whole side had been bashed in. It must have happened during shipping, but how was I to prove that, over a month after receiving it? I called their customer service, and amazing – they believed me immediately, no questions and no arguments, and I had a new stove in less than a week later.

    That, to me, is fantastic customer service.

  32. lovelygirl says:

    I haven’t been to Sears that recently. I got a small HDTV there in August for my dorm room, and everything seemed fine. The salesguy asked if we wanted a warranty, we said no and it’s all good. The salesguy was the only one there at the time and I had to wait a while for attention because two boys were buying a video game console and a TV, probably also for college. He had to keep going back and forth to another department to get plastic bags because there weren’t any in the electronics department. That was pretty annoying and something that the managers really should fix– why don’t you even have plastic bags at the register?! He was very nice and helpful though.

    I remember going to KMart years ago with my mom, when I was very little. It was a nice store, and my mom still laments to this day about how it’s gone downhill. How hard is it to hire people to clean and make them clean?? They just need to clean up and organize better. And the fact that they’re in such bad state is probably because of the neighborhoods they’re situated in– location, location, location. They need to close some underperforming stores that get poor customer reviews. Customers should be asked at the register to rate their shopping experience on a scale of 1-10. This way, they won’t have to give their name/info– no name/info– people will answer! Keep the stores in the nicer neighborhoods and those with less vandalism. It’s a shame that KMart is worse than WalMart… I hope they start to listen to the people and fix things!!

  33. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I received a Sears giftcard as a Christmas present. I don’t care about the service, since it’s free merch for me, but I have two difficulties:

    1) The local Sears kind of sucks, so if I want the good stuff I have to pay shipping, and

    2) I’m afraid I won’t be able to spend everything on the card before the business shuts down. :(

  34. Echodork says:

    I tried to give Sears a couple hundred bucks last week. They had a TV stand on display that I really liked, and the price was just right. Store #1 didn’t have it, but the inventory system said Store #2 had one if I wanted to drive 20 miles.

    Store #2 didn’t have it, didn’t have the other one like it, and the manager suggested I go to Circuit City instead.

    Learned my lesson.

  35. IrisMR says:

    They had it comming.

  36. NeoteriX says:

    Strange… back when Black Friday was around, I heard the most positive price matching/customer service stories from Sears. I thought meant that people were shopping there more.

  37. HOP says:

    we don’t shop sears

  38. deadlizard says:

    Sears doesn’t know who to sell anything anymore. Not as cheap as
    Wal-Mart, not as chic as Macy’s, not as good as Target, not as
    specialized as the Home Depot. You only go there to remember their
    glory days in the 80s, when they were the number 1 retailer and had
    their offices in the tallest building in the world.

  39. Dawnrazor says:

    I must take issue with anyone expressing ANY level of joy or happiness over this news (or indeed, any news of any large company in danger of becoming extinct). This will only create hardship for the thousands of “normal” employees (ranging from hourly without benefits to salaried with) who will become jobless; I see these people as the REAL victims when something like this happens, and they really bear no significant responsibility in the company’s demise. The people directly responsible for the decline are at the executive levels and will suffer minimally (if at all) thanks to the 8 or 9-figure golden parachute they will inevitably collect. This is the new “model” for corporate America, and will lead to the complete disintegration of our economy if not stopped. Quite simply, those actually in charge of America’s corporations have little to fear if the business implodes as they will suffer no significant consequences-as a result, no one is truly accountable (plenty of scapegoats to go around) for failures. I understand why people react with the “yeah! serves em’ right” attitude upon hearing news such as this, but the executive team will ALWAYS find a way to suffer no significant consequences (usually at the expense of the “normal” employees who WILL suffer greatly). It is frustrating that there is no true “justice” in these situations (Ken Lay dropping dead before his trial was NOT justice-I wanted to see him face in court some of the people whose lives he so wantonly destroyed-he got off easy!). Perhaps our only hope of real “justice” for these despicable people is if Hell truly exists; I imagine its fires would HUNGER for black souls of their ilk.

  40. ninjatales says:

    Haven’t shopped there in years and don’t plan on it either. Good riddance.

  41. Trojan69 says:

    Sears as a retailer is simply doomed. They are as the legacy airlines are – a tad too overpriced, with outsized consumer expectations.

    My local KMart underwent an extensive renovation a couple of summers ago and it is a very, very, nice store. Not quite as bright and open as the better Targets, but comparable. It’s much nicer than the typical Wal*Mart. The problem is they raised the prices on the basics to Target level and the locals, who are generally poor, did not support the store.

    Of course, they proceeded to drastically cut the worker’s hours and whatever good will they earned with the physical upgrade they lost with ludicrously long checkout lines.

  42. McGarvey says:

    The Bad News Sears

    Talk about being the proof of the big idea.

    News is swirling everywhere that Sears, once perhaps the nation’s most respected retailer, is in big trouble. There’s this PORTFOLIO story [www.portfolio.com]
    And this Wall Street Journal story [online.wsj.com]

    The gist of the coverage is that, after the acquisition of Sears by a hedge-funded Kmart, Sears has been plummeting straight down and this is prompting a feverish quest for fixes by ever more inventive corporate doctors. But fix after fix fails, and Sears is entering what increasingly looks like a death spiral.

    Duh. It’s the service, stupid.

    And I am the proof.

    On December 20th I called in to schedule a repair on a malfunctioning dishwasher…and I just got off the phone where I was told Feb 6th would now be the earliest date for repair. That is one and one-half months!

    An appointment had been set for last Friday but Thursday at 8 pm Sears called to cancel it because “no technician was available.” Originally I was told the dishwasher would be serviced on Monday but I subsequently was informed that in fact I would have to wait until Feb 6th!

    I have had countless conversations with Sears service employees – generally polite, if not terribly well-informed – and they are impotent. Apparently there just are not enough people working on repairs and so when something breaks, that injury is then insulted by “service” that is anything but.

    Contrast this with an experience I had with Home Depot last year. I’d bought a room air conditioner that was sold with the promise of five-year at home service. It stopped cooling within a few weeks of purchase. The phone number provided for service never was answered. After a few days I called Home Depot which, within 60 seconds, agreed to refund the full purchase price. No hassle, no argument.

    You hear that Sears had been “KMarted” since the acquisition by KMart and, apparently, that is becoming true. Would you expect service from Kmart? Would you even set foot in a Kmart? QED.

    I’m probably buying a new washer-dryer later this year and one store that will not get a penny of that business is Sears. Something has gone very wrong with the company!

  43. bacheroo says:

    @clocker:

    Amen to that!
    My first job was at “Sears & Roebuck, Inc” in Lancaster, PA, back in 1970 ( a summer job, trying to earn pocket money for college)…boy have times changed!
    I bought a refrigerator from these guys 3 years ago, and it has recently gone on the blink. So, I set up an appointment with them to repair it.
    “We’ll be at your home between 1 and 5 PM today”.
    Hmmm, well, it’s 6:15PM and ‘notta’…just got off the phone with thier 24-hour operator (sounded like somewhere in Bombay)…”we’re sorry, but the technicians were running late, would you like to re-schedule?”
    Are you kidding me?
    I have to call them to find out where they are?
    Never again….NEVER!
    The world will be a better place without Sears and their shoddy appliances (which used to be ‘primo’) and customer satisfaction.
    Good riddance! They diserve it.
    BTW, anybody got a good line on a reliable refrigerator?

  44. Anonymous says:

    Sears service is terrible, my refridgerator under extended warranty from sears has failed , it is a kitchenaid 5 years old, their techs have refused to service it, don’t like my cats. They broke appointment verified yesterday, I took a day off work to be home for this, when tech did not show I called service center, they referred me to complaint dept (got nowhere surprise surprise), they should at least have had the courtesy to tell me thsy would not honor the contract so that I did not waste what was a work day. Boo to sears canada it is one lousy rotten care not for the customer corporate leech!!