HolyCoast: Retail Giants Sears and K-Mart Fading Slowing Into History

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Retail Giants Sears and K-Mart Fading Slowing Into History

When I was a kid it was a big deal to go to the Santa Ana Sears during the Christmas season and check out the huge toy display which always included a fancy model train layout.  And the arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog with its huge toy listings was something to behold.

Today, the only Sears near here is basically a store we walk through when heading to other shops in the Laguna Hills Mall.  About the only thing we've purchased at that store in recent years is a water heater and some tools.

It wouldn't surprise me if that store ends up on the closing list:
Sears Holdings Corp will close as many as 120 of its Kmart and Sears discount and department stores after its holiday sales slumped, sending its shares sliding more than 27 percent to their lowest level in three years.

The retailer, which is controlled by its chairman, the hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, has seen sales decline every year since the $11 billion merger of the two chains in 2005, and likely faces further closings to cut expenses, preserve cash and push back against rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon.com Inc, analysts said.

Sears also disclosed on Tuesday that it tapped its credit line to borrow cash and forecast that fourth-quarter earnings would fall by more than half.

Under Lampert, the company, once one of the most successful U.S. retailers with a history going back to 1886, has let stores deteriorate, said analysts, who also faulted poor locations and ho-hum merchandise for its ongoing problems.

"They've neglected this business for so long," independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi said, adding that he expects more closings. "They are letting Kmart and Sears die on the vine."
With the exception of the Craftsman line of tools, a lot of Sears merchandise is pretty low rent. It's certainly not in our top 10 list of places to shop.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Talk about your bad management! Killing it slowly...

Maybe, just maybe, they're using the Mama Carlson (she owned WKRP in Cincinnati) technique of using something to generate losses as a tax write-off.