Kmart isn’t closing all of its stores. Nope. That’s the company’s official policy, and what they tell anyone who asks. Yes, they’re closing some stores, both gradually and in big batches, but that’s part of the company’s “transformation from a traditional, store-network based retail business model to a more asset-light, member-centric integrated retailer.” Yet some employees are quietly worried that the whole chain is about to shut down. Update: Kmart denies this report. [More]
Eddie Lampert, the manifesto-writing hedge fund manager who runs Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart, doesn’t understand retail. That’s isn’t always a bad thing in a manager: sometimes leaders with fresh perspective bring in fresh ideas. For Sears and Kmart, it’s meant over a decade of no investment in the company and the slowest liquidation and dismantling in retail history. [More]
Last week, Sears all but admitted that it was looking to cast off the little that remains of its identity with the possible sell-off of its signature house brands Kenmore, DieHard, and Craftsman. What the heck happened to this once-great pillar of American retail? A number of industry insiders have their theories, and they aren’t pulling punches. [More]
Earlier this week, we received an email from a reader with a tip for our Sears and Kmart store closings list. We checked it out and learned that her local Sears store was actually staying open, which took her by surprise. “It sure looked like that part of the mall was being taken down,” she wrote, relieved, mirroring many shoppers’ reactions to the continued existence of Sears and Kmart as a company. [More]
If you’ve always secretly wanted to be the partial landlord of a Sears or Kmart store, you have some unusual and specific life goals. You can also achieve your goal as of this week. The real estate investment trust spun off from Sears Holdings, Seritage Growth Properties, is now selling shares to the public, and the offering has been successful so far, raising more than $1.6 billion. [More]
Shop Your Way Rewards is not a difficult program to join. The process consists of giving your e-mail address to a cashier at Sears or Kmart, and…that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t cost anything. Yet the leadership of Sears Holdings Corporation remains fixed on the program and the idea of having “members” rather than customers, and we still can’t figure out why. [More]
As Sears continues to shake out all its piggy banks and check under every single couch cushion it has for spare change, the retailer chain is also looking to outside sources to help it raise some revenue. The company has teamed up with mall king Simon Property Group to create a new company that will bring in $114 million extra for Sears, money it sorely needs. [More]
Americans seem to love and hate their Kmart and Sears stores: our posts linking to unofficial but comprehensive closing lists have been very popular in the last few weeks. Americans apparently love to complain about their Sears Holdings stores, but don’t really want them to go away. Sears Holdings CEO and chief manifesto-writer Eddie Lampert recently took to the company’s blog to explain why the chain is getting rid of up to 200 stores. [More]
Sears Holdings Corporation, the company that runs Sears and Kmart, needs to raise some cash to get through the rest of the year. When a person needs cash, they look around the house for things to sell. Sears did that, and what it saw was Sears Canada. The company announced today that it will sell part of its 51% stake in the company to current Sears Canada shareholders. You’ll never guess who’s buying! [More]
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]
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… [More]
In our posts about Sears, we often observe that the company seems like an anti-capitalist prank, a retail giant that thrashes around aimlessly until the real estate market picks up. It turns out that we were kind of half right. Manifesto-writing Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert has organized the company into battling units that compete with each other for a dwindling pile of money. [More]
Once upon a time, a man won an award for being the “Worst CEO of the Year” without actually being the CEO of anything. Who is this man? Well, he’s the next CEO of Sears. Constant readers of Consumerist will be familiar with Mr. Eddie Lampert, the chairman of Sears Holdings and mastermind of the Kmart/Sears merger. Eddie is a big thinker. He famously published a 15-page manifesto in 2009 which covered everything from the economic meltdown to civil liberties, and contained a suggested reading list that included free-market Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek.
Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert has unleashed a 15-page manifesto about the current economic meltdown, short-selling rules, civil liberties, and even offers a suggested reading list that includes free-market Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek.
Ex-Sears CEO Aylwin Lewis has taken a position as CEO of Chicago’s delicious Potbelly Sandwich Works. Reader Tim asks: “Should I be worried that he will destroy this great sandwich chain?” Hmmm. Maybe, but we think Chairman Eddie Lampert is the real source of evil at Sears. And now we’re hungry. [Chicago Tribune]
Aylwin B. Lewis, CEO of Sears, has been asked to step down as part of Sears’ restructuring plan, says the Chicago Tribune. In a prepared statement, the billionaire hedge fund guy who controls Sears, Eddie Lampert, explained the reason behind Mr. Lewis’ departure:
On paper, the merger between Kmart and Sears looked almost fool-proof. Investors were confident that hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert had the midas touch, and that Sears’ real estate holdings were worth more than $150 on their own. Sears’ well-regarded brands would be paired with Kmart’s convenient locations—and everyone would make tons of money.
The fact that Eddie Lampert isn’t even a CEO didn’t stop Herb Greenberg at Marketwatch from slapping the coveted “Worst CEO of the Year” award on him. Eddie beat out such unemployed luminaries as Chuck “Whoops” Prince, formerly of Citigroup, and Ed “I Hate My Customers” Zander, formerly of Motorola.