As it turns out, President Trump is not the only chief executive frustrated by his media narrative and the “fake news.” Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has some equally negative sentiments for the press corps, which he blames for his firm’s recent run of woe.
Lampert called out the media this week for “unfairly singling out” the company over the past decade and blamed “irresponsible” coverage for many of Sears’ issues today.
Lampert’s remarks came during his appearance at Sears’ annual meeting for its shareholders, where he presented a slideshow of headlines about the end being near for Sears that started about ten years ago.
“You’d think it was from a month ago, but it’s literally been going on for a decade,” Lampert told about 70 people in attendance. Sears has not turned a profit for a decade — though Lampert pointed out that neither did Amazon for many of its early growth-focused years.
He also touted the Shop Your Way rewards program as being instrumental to putting things back in the black for Sears. The firm did not, however, provide any hard numbers for Shop Your Way. Shareholders asked for them — and noted they might help win investor confidence — but Lampert declined (adding that Amazon has never disclosed how many Prime members is has.)
Investors questioned Lampert and even asked if he is in denial about the firm’s losses and future.
Lampert refuted this question, saying there were “behind-the-scenes” counterparties trying to take advantage of the company’s situation and that he was trying to adapt and preserve as many jobs as possible.
“That’s not about denial; that’s about caring,” he said.
Lampert said Sears would remain focused on improving its relationship with its customers.
“The strategy we’ve been talking about for over a decade, we think it’s clear. We think it’s working. We have a lot of data that shows where it’s working, and where we need to improve,” he said.
Shares in Sears closed 6.8 percent higher on Wednesday at $11.24.