No one with any sense of how capitalism works would expect the profit and loss numbers out of Sears Holdings Corporation this week to be good. It turns out, though, that the company lost even more money in the second quarter of 2013 than experts had anticipated, and needs serious help to get out of its downward slide.
We don’t normally post about the quarterly results out of every company in the land: that’s what financial wire services are for, and we’d rather post about more important global economic issues like Doritos Locos Tacos and holiday creep. Sears is special to us, though. Maybe it’s our fascination with Eddie Lampert and his manifestos, our staff’s special affinity for Chicago, or maybe the collapse of Sears feels like a grotesque illustration of the collapse of the American dream. Probably it’s all of those things.
Many people write to us who have come to our site after searching online for others with similar gripes about Sears. These readers have a lot in common: they’re they’re older than most of our readership, they’re very upset, and they are never setting foot in a Sears store again.
Maybe this, on a global scale, is catching up to Sears. This past quarter, they lost $194 million, compared to a $132 million loss during the same period last year. The company blames having fewer stores this year and their spinoff of Sears Outlet and Sears Hometown stores, and claims that appliance sales are down everywhere. A Credit Suisse analyst who spoke to the Chicago Tribune disagreed: appliance and home goods sales are usually up in the second quarter, but are just down at Sears.
The company’s plan for the coming year: unload more real estate, spin off more businesses, raise more cash. Not on the agenda: fix up their crappy stores or do away with the management structure that literally has different parts of the company competing against each other.
Sears shares slide on wider-than-expected 2Q loss [Chicago Tribune]