Sears likely headed for liquidation
In the end, one person — Eddie Lampert — would determine if Sears and Kmart continued to stay in business. As so many of his efforts have proven since he combined the two retailers in 2014 under Sears Holdings, Mr. Lampert’s bid to save some of what remains of the company failed. As a result, Reuters and CNBC are reporting that the company is planning to ask a bankruptcy court judge today for permission to liquidate its business.
Reuters’ reporting does leave room open for the possibility that Sears Holdings will at least postpone plans to close down its operations. This would mean the court has ruled to give Mr. Lampert and his ESL Holdings, controlling shareholder in Sears Holdings, more time to adjust the bid for the retailer.
If a request for more time fails to materialize and Sears Holdings pursues liquidation, it is possible that parts of the company may survive through a sale. CNBC mentions Sears’ home services as a business that may attract bidders.
Over the years, Mr. Lampert, current chairman and former CEO of Sears Holdings, has railed against critics who have challenged his lack of investment in stores and the dilution of retailer-owned brands such as Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore by selling them or making them available in competitive outlets.
Sears Holdings last turned a profit in 2010.
- Sears to ask bankruptcy judge to liquidate – Reuters
- Sears to shutter after 126 years in business as Chairman Eddie Lampert’s bid fails – CNBC
- Eddie Lampert is the worst – RetailWire
- Isn’t It Time Eddie Lampert Fired the CEO of Sears? – RetailWire
- Will anything change for Sears after Chapter 11? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your postmortem for Sears Holdings? What lessons should other retailers and their investors learn from the experience?