Retail

Sears Nixes Printed Holiday Catalog

Sears Holdings Corp. is not publishing its iconic holiday catalog this year.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Wish Book will still be available online in early November. The printed version was reintroduced after a six-year hiatus for the retailer’s “best members” of its Shop Your Way program.

The Wish Book, then known as the Sears Christmas Book, made its debut in 1933 and came out almost every year — with a gap in 1993 and 1994 — until 2011.

The move comes after Sears announced on Oct. 15 that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and gearing up to close another 142 stores after decades of declining revenue and hundreds of store closures.

The bankruptcy filing is the culmination of years of effort on the part of Sears and Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert to turn the company around. Lampert had long vowed to bring Sears back to the days when it was a leading retailer, but his efforts failed to take off with consumers. Sears hasn’t had a profit since 2011, and Lampert has faced criticism that he let the physical stores deteriorate. Sears, over the years, has sold the Craftsman brand and is mulling an offer for the Kenmore appliance brand.

Under the bankruptcy plan, Lampert will be replaced with a three-person committee, but will remain as chairman of the board. Mohsin Meghji, a managing director of the M-III Partners corporate advisory firm, was appointed chief restructuring officer. Sears is gearing up to sell assets and start closing 142 stores that are not profitable by the end of this year, with the goal of reorganizing around a smaller portfolio of around 700 stores. It is also looking at selling a big chunk of its stores, which could be purchased by Lampert’s hedge fund.

During the proceedings, Sears and Kmart stores will remain open, with employees getting paid wages and benefits.

“The company believes that a successful reorganization will save the company and the jobs of tens of thousands of store associates,” Sears said in a statement.

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