As anyone who has read Consumerist or casually browsed any business section knows, Sears is not doing well. Our ongoing joke for years has been that Sears is a vast anti-capitalist prank, since no business that’s actually out to make money could stay so institutionally awful for so long. Today, the company announced that two of its most viable divisions may get kicked out of the nest: Lands’ End and its auto centers.
They lost a lot of money in the second quarter of 2013, and in the third quarter of this year apparently lost even more. Today, while giving a preview of the most recent quarter, the company announced plans to spin off Lands’ End and auto centers in order to raise some badly needed cash and invest more in their core businesses, whatever those are.
The company doesn’t make sales numbers for just Lands’ End public, but experts speculate that it’s more profitable than the rest of the company overall. The auto centers don’t have as much potential as a standalone business, partly because they’re so closely identified with Sears, in branding and in physical space.
Last year, Sears spun off Outlet and Hometown stores. The company also plans to close more stores. Experts see this as more of a continuation of the company’s death spiral than a solid plan for the future.
Manifesto-writing CEO Eddie Lampert continues to tell press and stock analysts that the company has a vision: one that involves lots of e-commerce and cultivating loyal customers through the Shop Your Way Rewards program.
Sears considers separating Lands’ End [Chicago Tribune]
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