(Scott Miller)

$400M Loan From Its Own CEO Is Only 1/10 Of What Sears Needs To Stay Alive

I don’t know about you, but if someone loaned me $400 million, it would just about cover all my debts. But I’m not a sagging national retail operation that hasn’t been relevant in decades. If I were, then I’d probably need a much, much, much bigger loan to get out of hock. [More]

Sears Survives For Now, May Not Make It Through 2016

Sears Survives For Now, May Not Make It Through 2016

Earlier this week, we learned that Sears Holdings Corporation is borrowing $400 million to pay its bills from a hedge fund owned by its own CEO. Yet experts look at this transaction from the outside and wonder: what does it tell us that the company’s own CEO has stopped offering it unsecured credit? [More]

Sears Promises 5-Minute Returns And Exchanges Without Leaving Your Car

Sears Promises 5-Minute Returns And Exchanges Without Leaving Your Car

Sears is expanding the number of in-person services that they offer to customers who are horrified at the prospect of walking into a Sears. Now you can perform in-person returns and exchanges at your local store, but without getting out of your car. What kind of wizardry is this? It’s the department store chain’s new bid to win over customers with ease and convenience. [More]

Sears Borrows $400 Million From Its CEO, No Conflict Of Interest Here

Sears Borrows $400 Million From Its CEO, No Conflict Of Interest Here

Sears Holdings Company keeps losing money, and they need to borrow some cash. What do you do when you have trouble getting a loan and really can’t afford to pay a lot of interest on the money you desperately need? You ask your parents. In the case of Sears, its dad is Eddie Lampert, the company’s manifesto-writing chairman, CEO, and biggest investor. [More]

Kmart Airs What Is Totally Not A Christmas Commercial

Kmart Airs What Is Totally Not A Christmas Commercial

Last year, discount retailer and aspiring landlord Kmart kicked off its Christmas marketing early. Really early. Last year, the chain waited around until September 10 to start airing its first Christmas ad. This year, they moved that start date up, presumably so people who chatter about retail would complain about the early start date and embed the ad. You win, Kmart. [More]

Not $10.

Reminder: If A Store Won’t Sell You A Laptop For $10, It’s Not Bait And Switch

It’s not the fastest or best computer you’ll see, but the laptop that reader J. spotted for sale at her college’s online bookstore was a deal she couldn’t pass up. An AMD E300 processor! 2 gigabytes of RAM! A 320 gigabyte hard drive! All this for only $10. She placed an order and waited…only to have her order rudely canceled with no notice. [More]

Sears Continues Retail Death Spiral, Still Sells A Few Useful Things

Sears Continues Retail Death Spiral, Still Sells A Few Useful Things

For the ninth quarter in a row, Sears Holdings Corporation has lost money. Even as the company closes stores, rents out remaining stores, and tries desperate moves like opening early on Thanksgiving Day and making fun of itself in its own ads, the company continues to sell itself for parts in a sad retail death spiral. Yet is there anything that you should consider buying at Sears while it still exists? Are Americans who sneer at Sears missing out? Maybe. [More]

Credit Cards From Amazon, Office Depot, Staples, Best Buy, Toys R Us Have Highest APRs

(frankieleon)

It can be so tempting — You’re about to make a big purchase at a retail store when the cashier says you can save all sorts of money by applying for a store credit card. But what they rarely make clear to you is that the card you’re applying for often comes with a sky-high interest rate — and those rates are going higher. [More]

Man Hacks Gift Card Database: Was It For Research, Or To Score Free Stuff?

Man Hacks Gift Card Database: Was It For Research, Or To Score Free Stuff?

Running out of funds on your store gift card is a total bummer. While most of us would just pay with our own cash or buy another gift card. For a Virginia man, there was another option: circumvent a computer database
[More]

Police Hunting For Man Who Stole 9 Lawnmowers From Sears… One Mower At A Time

Police Hunting For Man Who Stole 9 Lawnmowers From Sears… One Mower At A Time

When I first heard about a man wanted in Alabama for allegedly stealing nine lawnmowers from a Sears store, I assumed he’d swiped all the mowers at once with the aid of a truck or moving van. But no, this mower thief had the idiotic bravery to steal the nine mowers one at a time… in the backseat of his sedan. [More]

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

CPSC: Best Buy And Its Closeout Stores Sold Electronics And Furniture After Recall

Once an item has been formally recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it becomes illegal to sell that item. Yet the CPSC reports that Best Buy, Magnolia, Best Buy Private Auction, CowBoom, and TechLiquidators continued to sell products that had already been recalled in 2012 and 2013. [More]

Here’s How Fulfillment Centers Make Shipping Stupid By Making It Smart

Here’s How Fulfillment Centers Make Shipping Stupid By Making It Smart

We received a letter from J., who designs order fulfillment systems for a living. We would call him a “Stupid Shipping Gang Kingpin,” but that’s not really fair: he says that he does his best to make the system less stupid. The problem, J. explains, is that “sometimes the smart way to do things and the common sense way to do things seem at odds with each other.” [More]

Sears Ships Tiny Wrench To Store In Giant Box

Sears Ships Tiny Wrench To Store In Giant Box

You would think that when ordering an item online for in-store pickup, a retailer would package the item in an efficient way, perhaps putting it in a box with other tools being shipped to the store. No. Not at Victor’s local Sears. [More]

Verizon Trying To Twitter-Snipe Mildly Annoyed Customers Of Other Carriers

Verizon Trying To Twitter-Snipe Mildly Annoyed Customers Of Other Carriers

Having written about every major wireless carrier over the last 4+ years, I’ve come to realize one thing: Just about everyone hates their current wireless provider and is constantly talking about switching. So it makes sense that these competitors would scour the competition’s social media feeds and try to lure away disgruntled customers. Yet only Verizon, by far the largest carrier in the U.S., seems to be making a go of it. [More]

The poster, now pulled from Sears.com.

Walmart, Amazon, & Sears Pull Poster Featuring Concentration Camp Sign

Oh, those troublesome third-party vendors: In yet another example of why it’s smart to keep the corporate eye on what products you’re shilling, Walmart, Sears, Amazon and other retailers have quickly moved to pull a poster that features a sign from Nazi Germany’s Dachau concentration camp. Yes, that was really for sale. [More]

This Kmart was supposed to close but has remained open as a "Kmart at a Discount" outlet. (Photo: JillCataldo.com)

“Kmart At A Discount” Store Doesn’t Quite Live Up To Its Name

If outlet stores for mid- to high-end retailers give shoppers a way to find decent bargains, you’d think that a Kmart outlet store would have some real bottom-dollar deals on items that couldn’t be cleared from inventory at regular Kmart stores. But shoppers who visit a “Kmart at a Discount” location should enter with the caveat that saving money is a hit-or-miss proposition. [More]

Pretty Much Every Sears And Kmart Store Is For Rent Right Now

Pete Kraynak

Sears Holdings Corporation, the company that runs Sears and Kmart, has a problem. They have a lot of real estate, and not enough sales to keep all of that real estate busy. One solution is to close stores as they underperform or as their leases expire, which is what the company has been doing. Another solution? Rent out that space. For the right customer, virtually every Sears and Kmart store is up for grabs. [More]

Sears Appliance Installer Drops My Dryer, Shrugs – Then Everything Changes

Sears Appliance Installer Drops My Dryer, Shrugs – Then Everything Changes

“Recently Sears had a serious competitive edge on a single aspect of buying a dryer,” writes Bedford. If you’re curious, that aspect is that Sears will set up a dryer to vent from the side while most appliance retailers won’t, but that isn’t really important: what matters is what went wrong when the delivery team showed up with his fresh new dryer, and how Sears dealt with the issue. [More]