AuthorTopic: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart  (Read 23324 times)

Offline Golden Oxen

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/12/sears-kmart-likely-filing-bankruptcy-soon-sunday/1614674002/

This is one that breaks my heart.

Sear's and America were synonyms for most of my life.

You can't go home again. :-\


               


                                     "Time and Tide Wait for No Man"       :(

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #196 on: October 13, 2018, 07:30:29 PM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

Cant say I recall seeing one in 2008 when I was last in the land of the free.... Made a special effort to go see Walmart and Hooters while there. Both were not what I expected. Spent 2 weeks in Florence Kentucky, putting in a factory. Interesting town.

I even had a pretty ordinary, but good in comparison to what else was on offer locally, Starbucks double shot Americano. Smallest size was a half litre bucket....Long black to everyone around here. Raised a few eyebrows when I asked for a "Long Black" in Kentucky... Have seen a few Starbucks open up over here in the years since, but really not that popular in a city like Melbourne, or even in country Victoria,  which has a thriving cafe and food culture already. Starbucks offer no improvement over what is already available.

We never really adopted the rampant consumerism culture which seems to dominate in the US, or in the media at least, though not for lack of trying, and we are get close at times! Australia has probably never had the population density to support it until the last 20 years in the Eastern Seaboard big 3 cities; Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and already retail is in decline here just as everywhere else in the developed world before it got to the saturation point.

JOW





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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #197 on: October 13, 2018, 07:37:53 PM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

Cant say I recall seeing one in 2008 when I was last in the land of the free.... Made a special effort to go see Walmart and Hooters while there. Both were not what I expected. Spent 2 weeks in Florence Kentucky, putting in a factory. Interesting town.

I even had a pretty ordinary, but good in comparison to what else was on offer locally, Starbucks double shot Americano. Smallest size was a half litre bucket....Long black to everyone around here. Raised a few eyebrows when I asked for a "Long Black" in Kentucky... Have seen a few Starbucks open up over here in the years since, but really not that popular in a city like Melbourne, or even in country Victoria,  which has a thriving cafe and food culture already. Starbucks offer no improvement over what is already available.

We never really adopted the rampant consumerism culture which seems to dominate in the US, or in the media at least, though not for lack of trying, and we are get close at times! Australia has probably never had the population density to support it until the last 20 years in the Eastern Seaboard big 3 cities; Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and already retail is in decline here just as everywhere else in the developed world before it got to the saturation point.

JOW

Sears was the End All an Be All of Mail Order Retail from the late 1800s until probably the late 1970s, maybe 1980s.



What killed them before Eddie Lampert finished off the job was they got too heavy into real estate and fixed location retail distribution, they ended up more as a REIT than a retail store, that is where the value was in the company at the end which is what Eddie Lampert sucked dry.  But even without Eddie the Vampire sucking the last bit of blood out of them, Sears was Doomed.  They were too bogged down in Commercial Real Estate, which has been steadily losing value since 2008 the latest.

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https://www.businessinsider.com/sears-bankruptcy-reports-downfall-photos-2018-10

Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, is closing hundreds of stores and reportedly planning to file for bankruptcy. Here's how it got there.

Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, is closing hundreds of stores and reportedly planning to file for bankruptcy. Here's how it got there.

 
Sears 48 of 59 Sears has been losing money and closing stores for years. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

 

  • Sears is expected to file for bankruptcy imminently. Next Monday, it is due to pay back a $134 million debt to its lenders.
  • The department-store chain has been losing money and closing stores for years. Many employees and analysts blame CEO Eddie Lampert for the retailer's decline.
  • These photos show how Sears went from being the largest and most prominent retailer in the United States to the struggling company that it is today.

It appears that the end is nigh for embattled retailer Sears.

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has hired advisors to help it prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing as early as this week.

The department-store chain is due to pay back a $143 million debt to a group of lenders next Monday. According to The Journal, Sears' controversial CEO Eddie Lampert, who has come to the retailer's rescue in the past with billions of dollars worth of loans through his hedge fund ESL Investments, is not bailing it out this time. However, according to Reuters, Lampert is considering a bid for some of the company's businesses and real estate once it files for bankruptcy.

American consumers are now lamenting the loss of one of the country's most famous retailers, which at one point was the world's largest. Sears was widely considered to be an early innovator of the shopping landscape.

"There was a time when Sears was the Amazon of its day. Remarkably innovative, daring, diverse in strategy and deadly as a competitor," retail expert Doug Stephens wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

Keep scrolling to see the story of its downfall in photos:

 

Sears started off as a mail-order catalog company selling watches and jewelry in 1888. It became the largest catalog company in the United States after expanding its assortment.

Sears started off as a mail-order catalog company selling watches and jewelry in 1888. It became the largest catalog company in the United States after expanding its assortment. AP

In the 1920s, as catalog shopping started to fade out, Sears adapted to the changing times and opened stores. According to Investopedia, sales at its stores outpaced catalog sales by 1931.

In the 1920s, as catalog shopping started to fade out, Sears adapted to the changing times and opened stores. According to Investopedia, sales at its stores outpaced catalog sales by 1931. AP

Source: Investopedia

 

The company grew from being only a retailer to offering financial services, including setting up an insurance arm with Allstate and acquiring various financial brokerage firms.

The company grew from being only a retailer to offering financial services, including setting up an insurance arm with Allstate and acquiring various financial brokerage firms. Reuters

It also began rolling out its own brands such as Craftsman, DieHard, and Kenmore.

Its dominance in the retail sector began to fade in the 1970s as lower-priced stores such as Target, Kmart, and Walmart gained momentum. By 1991, Walmart had taken Sears' place as the largest retailer in the country.

Its dominance in the retail sector began to fade in the 1970s as lower-priced stores such as Target, Kmart, and Walmart gained momentum. By 1991, Walmart had taken Sears' place as the largest retailer in the country. Sears, Roebuck & Co. unveiled their "Store of the Future" in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, on July 21, 1983 AP Photo/David Fields
 

Over the course of the 1990s, Sears started shedding its financial and insurance businesses and discontinued the catalog.

Over the course of the 1990s, Sears started shedding its financial and insurance businesses and discontinued the catalog. A Sears catalog for boy's clothing, 1989. MySpace

In 2003, Sears sold its credit-card business to Citigroup in order to focus exclusively on retail. The credit-card business had outgrown the core retail operation and accounted for 60% of its annual profits at the time.

In 2003, Sears sold its credit-card business to Citigroup in order to focus exclusively on retail. The credit-card business had outgrown the core retail operation and accounted for 60% of its annual profits at the time. AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
 

The chain was increasingly coming under pressure as shopping shifted online, and it failed to adapt. In 2004, it was bought by low-cost store Kmart in an effort to compete with rival chains such as Target and Walmart, which were dominating American retail.

The chain was increasingly coming under pressure as shopping shifted online, and it failed to adapt. In 2004, it was bought by low-cost store Kmart in an effort to compete with rival chains such as Target and Walmart, which were dominating American retail. Kmart was struggling at the time. Getty Images

Source: CNN Money

The deal was masterminded by Lampert, who was chairman of Kmart at the time and owned a 50% stake in its business through his ESL Investments hedge fund. He was also the largest shareholder in Sears at the time, with a 15% stake.

Lampert then became chairman of Sears Holdings, the combined company.

In 2004, BusinessWeek speculated that Lampert would become the next Warren Buffett.

In its first year as a combined company, sales rose.

In its first year as a combined company, sales rose. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Source: Investopedia

 

However, for the next nine years, they dropped.

However, for the next nine years, they dropped. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

In 2013, Lampert became CEO of Sears Holdings.

In 2013, Lampert became CEO of Sears Holdings. AP

The company's revenue declined substantially from $36.2 billion in fiscal 2013 to $25.1 billion in fiscal 2015.

In 2016, 24/7 Wall St reported that Lampert was the most hated CEO in the US, based on ratings and employee satisfaction reviews from Glassdoor.

 

As sales continued to fall, Sears started to shut down stores, sell real estate, and spin off brands.

As sales continued to fall, Sears started to shut down stores, sell real estate, and spin off brands. Getty/Scott Olson

Lampert thought he could turn around both companies by cutting costs and selling the real estate where underperforming stores were located.

In interviews with Business Insider's Hayley Peterson in 2016, employees blamed Lampert for the downfall of the company.

In interviews with Business Insider's Hayley Peterson in 2016, employees blamed Lampert for the downfall of the company. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

They said that Lampert rarely spent time at its headquarters.

 

Lampert stopped investing in stores. "He refuses to put a dime in updating stores," one former vice president told Business Insider in 2017.

Lampert stopped investing in stores. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Stores were severely understaffed, with some operating on less than half of the employees they needed, workers said.

Instead, he banked on Shop Your Way, a rewards program that enabled frequent buyers to accumulate points for their purchases and turn them into coupons and discounts. This complicated program backfired as it created massive lines at checkouts and angered customers.

Its stores were left to crumble.

Its stores were left to crumble. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson
 

Rotting ceilings were spotted in stores Business Insider visited.

Rotting ceilings were spotted in stores Business Insider visited. Business Insider

Suppliers canceled contracts ...

Suppliers canceled contracts ... Business Insider/Hayley Peterson
 

... which left many stores looking empty.

... which left many stores looking empty. Business Insider/Sarah Jacobs

Several high-level executives left the company.

Several high-level executives left the company. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

"There are so many people running for the door not just because the ship is sinking, but because the captain of the ship is screaming at them, blaming it on them, and telling them it's their fault," one former vice president told Business Insider in January 2017.

 

Hundreds of stores closed. Between 2013 and this September, its store count dropped from 1,980 to 866.

Hundreds of stores closed. Between 2013 and this September, its store count dropped from 1,980 to 866. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Lampert kept the company afloat by bailing it out with billions of dollars of loans from his hedge fund ESL Investments.

Lampert kept the company afloat by bailing it out with billions of dollars of loans from his hedge fund ESL Investments. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Sears had hired advisors to help the company prepare for bankruptcy in advance of a massive debt repayment due next Monday.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Journal that Lampert isn't planning to lend the company money to make Monday's payment.

However, according to Reuters, Lampert is considering a bid for some of the company's businesses and real estate once it files for bankruptcy.

 

A bankruptcy filing could be imminent.

A bankruptcy filing could be imminent. Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

"The prognosis is gloomy, just as it has been for many years," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a note to clients on Thursday morning.

"Sears has been expert in restructuring and playing for time with various financial machinations. However, at some point, the music has to stop. We believe that time is now."

SEE ALSO: Decaying stores, plunging sales, and a remote CEO: How Sears was driven to the edge of bankruptcy

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Offline Golden Oxen

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 My instincts tell me that we will witness, and are currently in a collapse of the current status quo, in the same sort of slow deliberate pace but it's just a guess. Very Slow to Very Fast.  :dontknow:  :cwmddd: :Thinkingof_:

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My instincts tell me that we will witness, and are currently in a collapse of the current status quo, in the same sort of slow deliberate pace but it's just a guess. Very Slow to Very Fast.  :dontknow:  :cwmddd: :Thinkingof_:

We've all noted the antics of Fast Eddie Lampert in the past. Bricks-and-mortar retail is taking it in the shorts all over, but Sears has been hollowed out by a parasite CEO who wins when his company loses. In many ways Sears' story is emblematic of late stagr capitalism: "Me? I'm doing very well here, thank you. You? Sucks to be you. Fuck you."
It continues to amaze me how Sears' board has permitted this. They must all be getting a taste.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Golden Oxen

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My instincts tell me that we will witness, and are currently in a collapse of the current status quo, in the same sort of slow deliberate pace but it's just a guess. Very Slow to Very Fast.  :dontknow:  :cwmddd: :Thinkingof_:

We've all noted the antics of Fast Eddie Lampert in the past. Bricks-and-mortar retail is taking it in the shorts all over, but Sears has been hollowed out by a parasite CEO who wins when his company loses. In many ways Sears' story is emblematic of late stagr capitalism: "Me? I'm doing very well here, thank you. You? Sucks to be you. Fuck you."
It continues to amaze me how Sears' board has permitted this. They must all be getting a taste.

This is something I can write definitely about Surly.

The board of directors of most corporations today are merely hand picked puppets of management, corrupted and paid off with lavish perks, and beholding to no one but themselves and the asses they kiss to remain on the board.

Payments of 50 thousand dollars per meeting and being picked up at airports by limousines after their paid for first class plane trip to the most exclusive dining place in the area to indulge in a few thousand dollar meal with a babe that won't say no, supposedly a corporate secretary reviewing what will be covered at the so called meeting are all too commonplace.
I could go on forever with the despicable shit that goes on like their indemnifying themselves against lawsuits from shareholders, paying huge premiums to insurance companies with the shareholder's funds. the goings on are so despicable that if folks were aware I swear the Stock Market would quickly approach ZERO.

My comments are not to be taken as a repudiation of capitalism, rather it is a cry of dismay at the rot, lack of moral compass and abandonment of duty and honor from those entrusted by all citizens to uphold the law and responsible behavior.

Look no further than the so called DOJ of the US and the fucking imbecile presiding, Jeff Sessions, whose only action and worry is marijuana or that lump of shit Eric Holder who stated in public that the bankster filth that caused the 2008 crash were too big to prosecute.

We live in sad times Surly, the process back to honesty and reality, as well as Law and Order is going to very painful and disruptive.


                                         

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #202 on: October 14, 2018, 06:40:06 AM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

When I was a kid (and I'm using 70), Sears was a dominant mid range retailer, like a combo of Wal Mart and Amazon in terms of ubiquity. By that time, the catalog days were in transition to the retail model now in decline. But on family shopping trips (which I recall as sort of a big deal), I would hie myself to the toy section to carefully examine the treasures I had discovered in the Sears catalog at home. Christmas was always coming.

You may not be aware of this, but decades ago Sears sold houses in their catalog. You could order a kit and build it yourself or contract it out. Many of those homes are still standing in the US.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #203 on: October 14, 2018, 07:02:36 AM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

When I was a kid (and I'm using 70), Sears was a dominant mid range retailer, like a combo of Wal Mart and Amazon in terms of ubiquity. By that time, the catalog days were in transition to the retail model now in decline. But on family shopping trips (which I recall as sort of a big deal), I would hie myself to the toy section to carefully examine the treasures I had discovered in the Sears catalog at home. Christmas was always coming.

You may not be aware of this, but decades ago Sears sold houses in their catalog. You could order a kit and build it yourself or contract it out. Many of those homes are still standing in the US.

What I remember most about sears is it's famous Craftsman like of products, tools and equipment.

Most workman in the country proudly displayed their Craftsman tool box with their lifetime guarantee. If you wanted a hammer or a wrench or any tool at all you headed to Sears. It was automatic without even thinking about it.


                                           

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #204 on: October 14, 2018, 07:28:21 AM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

When I was a kid (and I'm using 70), Sears was a dominant mid range retailer, like a combo of Wal Mart and Amazon in terms of ubiquity. By that time, the catalog days were in transition to the retail model now in decline. But on family shopping trips (which I recall as sort of a big deal), I would hie myself to the toy section to carefully examine the treasures I had discovered in the Sears catalog at home. Christmas was always coming.

You may not be aware of this, but decades ago Sears sold houses in their catalog. You could order a kit and build it yourself or contract it out. Many of those homes are still standing in the US.

What I remember most about sears is it's famous Craftsman like of products, tools and equipment.

Most workman in the country proudly displayed their Craftsman tool box with their lifetime guarantee. If you wanted a hammer or a wrench or any tool at all you headed to Sears. It was automatic without even thinking about it.



Absolutely correct. I still have most of the Craftsman tools I ever purchased. Craftsman tools were first sold in by Sears in 1927. They were not manufactured by Sears, but by various contractors and tools were sold by Sears. The lifetime warranty made them extremely appealing. In March 2017, Stanley Black & Decker acquired the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings and Fast Eddie. Eddie also attempted to buy the Kenmore brand from the husk of the company he was entrusted with. Have spent a lifetime purchasing larger Kenmore appliances from Sears.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #205 on: October 14, 2018, 09:44:53 AM »
Exactly how big was Sears in its heyday, and when was that?
Being from the other side of the earth I have little understanding of what Sears is to the American landscape/ psyche. I have heard stories about the famous Sear catalogue, and the ability to buy anything mail order...

When I was a kid (and I'm using 70), Sears was a dominant mid range retailer, like a combo of Wal Mart and Amazon in terms of ubiquity. By that time, the catalog days were in transition to the retail model now in decline. But on family shopping trips (which I recall as sort of a big deal), I would hie myself to the toy section to carefully examine the treasures I had discovered in the Sears catalog at home. Christmas was always coming.

You may not be aware of this, but decades ago Sears sold houses in their catalog. You could order a kit and build it yourself or contract it out. Many of those homes are still standing in the US.

What I remember most about sears is it's famous Craftsman like of products, tools and equipment.

Most workman in the country proudly displayed their Craftsman tool box with their lifetime guarantee. If you wanted a hammer or a wrench or any tool at all you headed to Sears. It was automatic without even thinking about it.



Absolutely correct. I still have most of the Craftsman tools I ever purchased. Craftsman tools were first sold in by Sears in 1927. They were not manufactured by Sears, but by various contractors and tools were sold by Sears. The lifetime warranty made them extremely appealing. In March 2017, Stanley Black & Decker acquired the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings and Fast Eddie. Eddie also attempted to buy the Kenmore brand from the husk of the company he was entrusted with. Have spent a lifetime purchasing larger Kenmore appliances from Sears.
Its a generational thing I think. By the time I was buying good tools all the craftsman tools were rebadged cheaper versions of other people's product. Those high end tools were only available through dealer networks and not easy to access.They had been trading on their name for a long time cheapening the product. Then home depot and lowes came around and all of a sudden milwaulkee, dewalt, stanley and bausch tools were available to everyone cheaper then the knock off at Sears.
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #206 on: October 14, 2018, 10:19:31 AM »
Then home depot and lowes came around and all of a sudden milwaulkee, dewalt, stanley and bausch tools were available to everyone cheaper then the knock off at Sears.

Really?  Craftsman tools were more expensive than Dewalt?

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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #207 on: October 14, 2018, 10:29:44 AM »
Then home depot and lowes came around and all of a sudden milwaulkee, dewalt, stanley and bausch tools were available to everyone cheaper then the knock off at Sears.

Really?  Craftsman tools were more expensive than Dewalt?

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dewalt at the dewalt dealer no. Dewalt at home depot yes.
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

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🏬 Fast Eddie to the "Rescue"
« Reply #208 on: October 15, 2018, 08:00:50 AM »
More Vulture Capitalism courtesy of Eddie Lampost.  He's just being a good Libertarian though.  Deregulate him some more!  That damn Goobermint makes things so difficult for Eddie.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sears-bankruptcy-lampert-exclusive/exclusive-sears-ceo-steps-in-for-bankruptcy-financing-sources-idUSKCN1MP04L

Business News
October 14, 2018 / 5:57 PM / Updated 2 hours ago
Exclusive: Sears CEO steps in for bankruptcy financing - sources
Jessica DiNapoli, Mike Spector


3 Min Read

(Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp CEO Eddie Lampert has stepped in to contribute toward a financing package of between $500 million and $600 million that the U.S. department store operator was close to securing on Sunday to fund operations during bankruptcy proceedings, people familiar with the matter said.
FILE PHOTO: A store closing sale sign is posted next to a Sears logo in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Lampert, who is also the companyís largest shareholder and lender, is hoping the deal, combined with a program of divestments, will give Sears a fighting chance to escape liquidation ahead of the key holiday shopping season, the sources said. Big banks, including Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc, are expected to provide significant portions of the financing, the sources added.

The bankruptcy filing is expected in New York early Monday, according to the sources.

The sources cautioned that there was always a chance that the negotiations could collapse at the last minute and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

A spokesman for Lampert declined to comment on details of the bankruptcy financing, while a Sears spokesman and spokespeople for the banks didnít immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sears, once the largest retailer in the United States, hopes to sell stores and other assets, including its Kenmore appliances brand and home services business, in court-supervised auctions while under bankruptcy protection, sources have previously said.

Lampert is also exploring bidding on the assets as a so-called stalking horse bidder, setting a floor with offers that other possible buyers could then attempt to top, Reuters reported last week.

He could help finance his bids for the assets by forgiving some of the money Sears owes him, as opposed to putting in more cash, the sources have said.

Lampert, a billionaire who also runs hedge fund ESL Investments, has invested in and lent to Sears many times over the years, giving him and ESL ownership of about half the company, as well as $2.5 billion of Searsí debt.

Sears plans to close about 150 of its 700 stores in malls across the United States as soon as it files for bankruptcy, Reuters reported on Friday. It intends to keep another 300 open moving forward, and place the remaining 250 under review. It is unclear how the closures would impact Searsí almost 70,000 employees.

At its peak, Sears sold everything from toys to auto parts to mail-order homes, and was a key tenant in almost every big mall across the United States. But it has struggled to reinvent itself in the face of competition from companies such as Amazon.com Inc, as well as other brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart Inc.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 08:06:16 AM by RE »
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Re: Official Death of Retail Thread: Life Without Walmart
« Reply #209 on: October 15, 2018, 09:37:33 AM »
Quote
Lampert, who is also the companyís largest shareholder and lender, is hoping the deal, combined with a program of divestments, will give Sears a fighting chance to escape liquidation ahead of the key holiday shopping season, the sources said. Big banks, including Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc, are expected to provide significant portions of the financing, the sources added.

I don't understand why ANY of these entities would pony up additional FRNs for Fast Eddie's looting scheme. Unless they get a taste.
There's no dealing like self-dealing.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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