Facing a falling stock price, a diminishing consumer base and an ever-growing number of analysts predicting full company failure by the end of 2017 — it would not be an exaggeration to say the executive team at Sears is under some pressure, particularly CEO Eddie Lampert.
And with all the real issues swirling around Sears going into holiday 2016, it seems the embattled CEO is not in the mood to deal with issues that he says are “exaggerated and false” – which is how categorized the recent onslaught of rumors indicating that Sears is getting read to roll up the sidewalk on K-Mart.
Sears and Kmart merged in 2004 — and it’s pretty much been all downhill for K-Mart ever since.
But Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has apparently heard enough of the rumors that Sears has plans to close down the struggling chain, noting in a post on the corporate blog that “there are no plans and there have never been any plans to close the Kmart format.”
He has conceded that some unprofitable Kmart stores will be closed.
But the fate of K-Mart is really a small question mark when stacked against the greater mystery of what Sears’ future fate is — and investors are becoming increasingly skeptical that the once massive retail commerce force can really come back from the brink.
Sears said in May that it might even sell three of its most well known brands — Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard — and recent reports indicate that Stanley Black & Decker is among interested buyers in the Craftsman brand.
Many on Wall Street believe that the ultimate end game for Lampert is to sell off its real estate properties — a possibility Lambert teased in his post by writing Sears had “an opportunity to create value” in the real estate assets “by monetizing them in a variety of ways.”
Will it be enough in the newly digital and rapidly evolving retail world?
Lampert ended his letter by saying that “the retail environment generally has been challenging.”
And while many have written Sears off as a lost cause — it should be noted that those headlines have been appearing with some regularity since 2012.
And yet Sears is still here — smaller than it once was by an order of magnitude — but still trying to get back in the game.