Sears CEO On Company’s Troubles: “Sometimes You Have To Go Backwards To Go Forwards”

The bad news for Sears? Stores will continue to close. But the good news, according to Chairman and CEO Eddie “Have You Read My Manifesto?” Lampert, is that just means Sears is living in the present, not the past. But “sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.” Okay, now we’re confused…

Lampert hopped around the space-time continuum during the annual shareholders meeting at Sears’ Illinois headquarters while discussing how other companies under big financial pressure have managed to emerge transformed, saying “sometimes you need to go backwards to go forwards,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

That being said, “We’re very focused on the future,” Lampert told shareholders. “We know we have a storied past. … Looking back at what used to be doesn’t give us a chance to transform.”

So, which is it? Perhaps “going backwards” means in terms of closing more stores, which could be seen as a backwards move, and then it wants to go forward in time. Where am I? Am I Doctor Who?!?

What we do know is that Sears has been closing stores — 305 since 2010 — and selling/spinning off assets like Lands End, Orchard Supply Hardware and Sears Hometown. All while leaking money in 28 straight quarters of losses.

The closings will continue, Lampert said, but” we want to make our bigger and better stores bigger and better.”

Right now, part of Sears plan for those bigger and better stores could include a Connected Solutions concept it’s testing with a pilot 2,2275-square-foot shop inside a Sears at an Illinois mall. It showcases “connected living” devices like fitness counters, heart rate monitors and smart locks. It’s the first of three shops that will open in the upcoming weeks (the future!) and features store associates to help explain products to customers testing out the devices.

Sears chief: Store closings will continue, make company stronger [Chicago Tribune]

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