Sears Holdings chairman, CEO, and chief manifesto-writer Eddie Lampert wants shoppers like you and writers like us to know something very important: Kmart is doing just fine. It has some stores that are profitable, and the retailer is continuing its turnaround plan and the “transformation” of its business into something with fewer stores and more online sales.
Kmart, Mr. Lampert said in one of his occasional mini-manifestos published on the Sears Holdings blog, isn’t going anywhere as a brand. Yes, some stores are closing by the end of the year, and the company plans to re-evaluate its stores as leases expire or more lucrative tenants for the stores it owns express interest, but Kmart still has around 700 stores left.
“[A] significant number of these stores are profitable and have been profitable for many years,” notes Lampert. The chain also wouldn’t be investing in store remodels and inviting Scottie Pippen over to hang out if it didn’t plan to experiment with ways to survive.
Lampert accuses Kmart doom-sayers of having an interest in seeing the retailer fail, but that would have to include the investment rating service Moody’s.
“In fact, we’ve been working hard to make Kmart a more fun, engaging place to shop, powered by our integrated retail innovations and Shop Your Way,” he writes. “To report or suggest otherwise is irresponsible and is likely intended to do harm to our company to the benefit of those who seek to gain advantage from posting these inaccurate reports.
Remember that those stories about imminent doom at Kmart came from its own employees, who either couldn’t get answers about what was going on, or had learned not to believe what their managers told them. They definitely don’t want to see the chain fail. We would love to stop shedding tears for Sears, but in the meantime want consumers to be aware that things like stores closing in the middle of their layaway contract could happen.
Committed to our Members, Kmart and our Transformation [Sears Holdings Speaks]