Stock Analyst: Sears Is No Longer ‘Viable As A Retailer’

You might not realize it when looking at our coverage, but we aren’t cheering for Kmart and Sears, the stores of Sears Holdings, to go out of business. The company’s continued survival is impressive, and sort of a surprise, but one stock analyst thinks that the company won’t survive without doing something drastic.

Retailers are generally supposed to get their cash from selling merchandise to customers, but Sears hasn’t been doing very well with that lately. The company announced that it will pick up the pace of store closings this year, and it’s likely to sell more stores to affiliated real estate investment trusts to raise short-term cash.

The company’s eventual goal is to have fewer, smaller stores and a robust e-commerce business, all dependent on the (admittedly, very simple and easy to use) rewards program that the company has a strange obsession with. The problem is that they eventually still need to sell some stuff. Some stuff other than its real estate.

“Its inability to generate cash makes it likely it will need to sell assets or utilize its funding facility in 2016 to offset operating losses,” analyst Matt McGinley told Bloomberg Business.

What are the assets that the company has to sell? After spinning off their Hometown and Outlets division and Land’s End in recent years, but potential buyers and investors aren’t as interested in Sears Auto Centers, which it would also like to sell.

“Sears Holdings has the financial flexibility to continue to fund our transformation,” Sears spokesperson Howard Riefs said in a statement to Bloomberg.

One of the Only Analysts Still Covering Sears Says It Isn’t Viable [Bloomberg Business]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.